Rochester summer readers go above and beyond

Sep 12, 2020

ROCHESTER — Lisa Fuller, Assistant for Youth Services at Plumb Library, was worried that readers wouldn’t be able to fill out the 4,000-sticker mosaic that signified how many activities were competed during the library’s summer reading program.

Well, kids throughout the town smashed the goal and turned in 4,700 accomplishments through the library’s “Imagine your story” summer reading program. 

“That’s impressive,” Fuller said as she stood next to the multi-colored mosaic of a unicorn that’s hanging in the hallway outside of Rochester Memorial School’s library.

Usually, readers would come into the library, report their accomplishments to a librarian and hang their stickers up by themselves. Instead, kids texted or emailed their activities in and librarians stuck them up for them. 

Fuller said it’s even more significant because they exceeded the 4,000-tile goal in a summer that was disruptive for the library’s normal program.

This year, the library provided a plethora of at-home activities like printable bingo cards, giant puppet seek and finds around town, grab and go books via curbside pickup, prize bags and summer story time online and outdoors.

One of those outdoor readings was with Blanka the “unicorn,” a mini-horse who children were allowed to pet. 

The library also participated in the commonwealth’s first-ever “First Lady of the Commonwealth and Blades Summer Reading Challenge.” 

Libraries across the Commonwealth selected their own personal goal that had to be completed by kids, teens and adults from July 1 to August 14 to reach it.

After readers smashed the library’s goal of turning 100 reading logs, the library was entered into the drawing to win various prizes from the Boston Bruins and scored a signed Bruins puck that will be on display in the library once it arrives. 

Plumb Library works very closely with the library at RMS who is preparing for the return of students on Sept. 16.

For this year, students will pick out books from the school’s library online, and librarians will be collecting them and dropping them off in special book bags at each classroom. 

“I’m actually really looking forward to this change,” Librarian Sandi Sollauer said.

Because of the change, she and other staff in the library will have to teach students how to search for books using the online catalog. For a first assignment, she said it would be good to have students do this so that they and their parents can learn how to check out books online.

“We’re all trying,” Sollauer said.