XENIA — Even though school doesn’t start for another month, a pair of Xenia librarians want kids hitting the books now.
Jo Chamberlain, who runs the Xenia Preschool library, and Kay Gerspacher, the district’s head librarian, hold a book giveaway every Friday at Shawnee Park to coincide with the YMCA’s free lunch program. Every Friday around 12 p.m., while the Y is making sure kids are fed, Chamberlain and Gerspacher try to make sure kids continue to feed their minds.
“We really want to keep kids reading this summer,” Chamberlain said, while setting up books along the park’s entrance on Park Drive.
Books for all ages are available but many are there to attract younger readers.
“We want to draw them into reading,” Gerspacher said. “The goal is to get rid of all this.”
Friday was the third week for the giveaway. There are regulars and new faces each week, and so far nearly 100 books have been distributed.
“We keep trying to restock books,” Chamberlain said.
Books were obtained from donations from the schools, library volunteer Lynn Engle, and from Chamberlain — who frequents the Dollar Book Swap in Downtown Dayton.
“I kept thinking, ‘how am I going to get kids to read this summer?’ ” Chamberlain said.
Whatever books remain when school begins will likely go into the school libraries or the “little free libraries” that pop up around town.
Gerspacher is also writing a CARES Act grant to help obtain personal protection equipment and other COVID-related resources for the libraries.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.