BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was a rainy day and, in some cases, a very rainy day, which made people look inside for something to do on Saturday.
The Fort Madison Public Library, in conjunction with the Lee County Leadership Academy, had just the idea for residents Saturday morning. The Friends and Family Fun Day entertained area children and parents with sessions at the library on genealogy, using the library’s e-book system, and games.
Library director Sara Clendineng said the project came about as part of a request for proposals she saw that had been put out by the leadership group.
“They had put a request for proposals for non-profit projects that they could help with,” Clendineng said. “We thought this would be a good chance to show, not only what we have for children in the community, but also for adults. People tend to think of the library programs for kids, but we also have a lot here for adults, too.”
She said the e-book program is popular for adults, as is the genealogy software on hand, and this was a good chance for people to see how those programs work.
The children that attended were given a punch card to go through all the six sections in the library and get the cards punched. After going through all the sections, the cards were entered into a drawing for a Kindle reader. The sessions included games, craft programs, adult programs including the library’s e-book program and Learning Express, which provides a multitude of educational tools for all ages.
The library also gave away prizes in its Design a Bookmark contest. Winners were Addison Rump, Kerrington Wardlow, Kylee Newkirk, and Jeanene Dean, all of Fort Madison.
Jacob Cook, with the Leadership Academy, said the program was intended to help the library with programming and membership, and was selected out of a group of proposals sent to the Lee County Leadership.
“Well, it was one of the ideas that was brought to our attention. Lee County Leadership program went to the community and asked around what are some possible ways the leadership group could really contribute to the community. Sarah submitted the idea and had ideas to create awareness for the library and Friends of the Library and increase membership a little bit.”
Clendineng said the event is geared toward showing the community the value of the Friends of the Public Library and how they help with programming at the library.
“The library has had a Friends of the Library group since 1985. Over the last couple years membership has been getting a bit older and we’re losing some who are no longer able to actively contribute so we’ve been looking for ways to increase the public profile and awareness in the community of what the friends do and how people can help with that,” Clendineng said.
“When Lee County Leadership sent out requests for proposals one thought I had was an event to do with the community to see what the library does and how the friends help with that and then in turn help with membership.”