When René Bue, Programming and Outreach Coordinator, and Laurie Bartz, Young Adult Librarian, of the Hedberg Public Library (HPL) in Janesville took over a reading program with the Youth Services Center (YSC) in August 2013, they had one objective: to make sure the kids were better off when they left the YSC than when they came. As they embark on their third year, it’s clear that they have achieved that objective – and so much more.
The youth at the YSC are split into two areas: the shelter side houses youth who may have had a minor scrape with law enforcement, but are considered at risk for future issues. Others are in the area for protective purposes. Laurie spends most of her time during visits to the YSC sharing reading materials with students on the shelter side of the facility. Shelter area youth have also been allowed to take field trips as a group to attend programs at the library.
Ten years ago when Diana Skalitzky, Director at the Marshall Community Library, began offering a Senior Aerobics group each week at the library, she thought it would be a nice way for people in the community to remain active and connected to others. But for participants Bea and Mo, the program may have saved their lives.
“Several years ago we partnered with the Marshall EMS to add blood pressure and heart rate screenings prior to each aerobics session,” recalls Diana. “Everyone gets their own book and the EMT records readings each week that the participants can share with their medical teams and families.”
It’s a typical summer day in Black River Falls. The late spring rains and gentle breezes have left lasting impressions in yards throughout the community – beautiful flowers, budding trees and acres of lush, green lawns. And Tammy Peasley, Library Director at the first public library in Wisconsin, is where many people find themselves each year – clearing out the gutters at the Black River Falls Public Library to make sure that the next storm doesn’t cause water problems.
“When I became director in 2013, I knew how important this library was to Black River Falls,” remembers Peasley. “This library has been here since November 1872. It’s been an important part of our community for generations – and I want to make sure it remains a vibrant center of learning for generations to come. Cleaning the gutters is just part of the job.”