Zionsville library’s summer reading program encourages philanthropy 


By Heather Lusk

It’s summer reading time at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, with prizes available for participating teens and youth and new opportunities for adults to give back to the community when they finish reading their first book.

Registered adults can select a free book at the library after logging their first book read, then they can choose to have the library donate $1 on their behalf to the Humane Society for Boone County or to the library’s Teen Community Service Club.

The HSBC donation, funded by an anonymous donor, will go toward vaccines for county pets. The Friends of the Library contributed money for teens to add a cutting garden to the library grounds.

Librarian Orty Ortwein said there are usually 400 to 500 adult participants for summer reading and hopes the new features will encourage more people to participate. For every book read, adults earn entries for gift cards from local businesses.

“A lot of times people think it’s just for the kids,” HMMPL Marketing Director Virginia Hilbert said. “It’s beneficial for adults to get involved, too, and to discover some new titles or genres they haven’t tried before. We hope that all ages participate together.”

Also new this year, the library has partnered with online resource Beanstack, which tracks books read for the programs. It also makes reading recommendations based upon previously read books or preferred genres.

Ice cream socials the evening of June 8 and the morning of June 9 are open to anyone who has registered for summer reading and kicks off two months of free events and programs for all ages. Unique programs include SAT preparation, Minecraft, travel, cooking lessons and live music.

“We’re trying to get the whole community involved in summer reading,” Hilbert said.


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