Columbiana Library hosts end-of-summer celebrations

In recognition of Columbiana Public Library’s summer reading program participants' efforts, the Columbiana Public Library Board, library staff and local merchants came together to award prizes during celebrations held on July 9, 14 and 16. (Contributed)

In recognition of Columbiana Public Library’s summer reading program participants’ efforts, the Columbiana Public Library Board, library staff and local merchants came together to award prizes during celebrations held on July 9, 14 and 16. (Contributed)

By TOM RARY / Community Columnist

Free food, prizes and entertainment filled the halls of the Columbiana Public Library during three end-of-summer reading program celebrations held respectively on July 9, 14 and 16.

Mayor Stancil Handley lauded the events as “a great demonstration of the wonderful things going on in Columbiana. The Friends of the Library, city officials and the summer reading program participants with their families came together to socialize and celebrate all of the students’ hard work this summer.”

It is the care and concern for the future of this great city shown by both those young and old that will continue to ensure its future remains bright.

“Prizes and events are always the critical piece when garnering active participation in summer reading programs,” said Assistant Librarian Sheila Gallups.

This reporter notes that under this measure of success, the library was exceedingly successful this year.

Library Director Tom Rary reported an approximately 30-percent increase in participation over last year across all categories resulting in 226 reading program participants and over 1,200 people in attendance during special events over the course of the six weeks of the summer program run.

In recognition of Columbiana Public Library’s entire summer reading program participants’ efforts, the Columbiana Public Library Board, library staff and local merchants came together to award some truly remarkable prizes this year.

The highlight and most coveted of the prizes of course was the grand prize, which was sure to delight and gain interest from all participants as there were a total of six iPad Minis that could be won.

To ensure equal opportunity for all participants to win, the rules of the program divided the iPads into three categories (elementary, middle and high school) then further bisected the iPads in these categories by participants’ sex to ensure both a male and female winner in each academic grade division.

Additional secondary prizes awarded were 20 32° Below small ice cream gift certificates, a $25 iTunes gift card, two $10 Outback Steakhouse gift cards and a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card.