Aug. 8, 2017 - Library’s Summer Reading Program Boasts Big Numbers

August 8, 2017


Library’s Summer Reading Program Boasts Big Numbers

            BENTON, KY – Nearly 650 local students participated in the Marshall County Public Library’s 2017 Summer Reading Program.

            “In a county our size, 650 participants is a huge number,” says Beth Kerrick, Children’s Librarian at the Marshall County Public Library @Benton. “We estimate that around 20% of our elementary students participated in the Summer Reading Program in some fashion this year.”

            The library offers two programs for students during the summer, one for elementary-aged children and another for teens. Each program offers special events and regular programs throughout the summer as well as a reading challenge. Several elementary schools offer extra incentives for students who participate.

            “We work closely with the schools to get kids involved during the summer,” says Kerrick. “Our goal is to keep kids’ minds active during the summer months so that they will be prepared for the new school year when August rolls around. Of course we want them to read, but we also want them to come to programs and get some hands-on learning or gain new experiences via one of our special guests. Our programming offers kids a chance to explore and discover new interests and talents.”

            The combined attendance for all of the library’s programs throughout the summer exceeded 2,600 people, up over 300 participants from 2016. The library offered everything from live animal shows to theater productions to a fandom party for teenagers.

            “Libraries offer unique opportunities for kids they can’t get anywhere else,” says Ashley Hayden, Young Adult Librarian. “Many of our kids can’t afford to travel to a convention in a bigger city, but our Ultimate Fandom Party allows them to express their interests and creativity right here in Marshall County for no cost to the participant.”

            Kerrick attributes the library’s summer reading success to the support of the school system and parents, as well as the ability to offer the program at all three branches of the Marshall County Public Library.

            “We owe so much to all the teachers and school administrators who encourage their students to participate, as well as to all the parents and grandparents who are willing to get the kids to the library throughout the summer. We are also very fortunate to have three locations spread across our county. There are many kids who wouldn’t be able to participate if we limited ourselves to one location. By spreading out our programs and giving students multiple locations where they can participate, we’re able to get more kids involved.”

            The Marshall County Public Library offers programming for all ages throughout the year. Their after-school programs for children and teens will resume in September. For a complete list of upcoming programming, visit