Library wins high honor for program

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Bud Werner Memorial Library recently received the highest honor in Colorado awarded to children's libraries. The Summer Reading Program Award from the Colorado Association of Libraries and Econo-Clad Books was given to Youth Services Librarian Currie Meyer and Assistant Youth Services Coordinator Alison Lambart for their development of "Don't Bug Me, I'm Reading."

"This is huge," Meyer said. This is the first time the library has been given this award. Meyer and Lambart were awarded a plaque and $200 toward the purchase of children's and young adult books for the library. The award was presented at the Colorado Association of Libraries annual conference in Keystone on Oct. 16.

Meyer returned from maternity leave last summer as a part-time employee, sharing her job with Lambart. She credits having two people on the job for the success of the program.

"(Lambart) had such creative ideas, and I understand the nuts and bolts of the business side of things," Meyer said. "We worked well together."

Bud Werner Memorial Library hosts a nine-week summer reading program every year, drawing from themes, book lists and craft ideas from the state. But this year, when the theme arrived, Meyer and Lambart decided to choose their own for the first time. They chose "bugs."

"I think we were really enthused and had a lot of fun with this summer's program," Meyer said. "We didn't like what (the state) put out, and we didn't have to use it. We chose something that was more appealing to kids and just rolled with it. We had a blast.

"Don't Bug Me, I'm Reading" was supported by more than 40 volunteers ranging in age from middle school to senior citizens.

Throughout the summer, children were invited to the library for a bug-themed story, which was coupled with a bug-themed activity. At the beginning of the summer, Johnny Walker's Applied Technology class at Steamboat Springs Middle School made 60 bug boxes designed to capture bugs. They were made of wood, and each had a small swinging door.

"They were a hit," Meyer said. "The kids just cherished those boxes."

Experts from the community gave their time to teach reading program attendees more about bugs. Deb Fuller, executive director of Yampatika, gave a talk about butterflies. Beekeeper Pat Shalks taught the kids about beekeeping and gave them each a taste of honey.

The stories and lectures were paired with a craft, such as the time when someone from the U.S. Forest Service gave a talk about beetles.

"We had a spinoff of that with our craft. All the kids got to decorate their own beetle magnet, and we played Beatles music," Meyer said.

According to a news release, the program was given the award because of the connection it created between books and the world.

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