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Library goes out of its way to get books into young readers hands

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HARTINGTON — Local youngsters are getting exposed to reading in a fun and interesting way, thanks to the efforts of the Hartington Public Library staff.

Every two weeks, the Hartington Public Library sends book packages to daycares across Hartington.

Kim Emanuel, Assistant Library Director and Children’s Librarian, gives local daycares access to hundreds of books with free delivery.

Emanuel also does a full visit, complete with story time, one week per month to the various daycares.

She usually picks out a book from the series “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," and brings her old lady doll along to aid in the story telling.

“The kids are always really excited, asking me where the old lady is," she said. "They love feeding her.”

On off weeks, Emanuel just drops off new books. She picks out books that fit the daycare's age range and gender majority, and delivers them herself.

Once Emanuel has a general idea of what kinds of books a daycare wants, she goes right to work.

Emanuel tries to send out fun books with lots of pictures to capture the attention of such young children and get them excited about reading. She picks out the books for a few daycares per week.

The books are then checked out and are ready to be delivered. So Emmanuel has enough time for all the daycares, the project works on a rotation system. Each week, different daycares get new books, and then it cycles back.

The daycare project in partnership with the library has gotten nothing but positive feedback.

Holly Hoeppner, owner of Tiny Toes Daycare, loves the program.

“I’ve had a really good experience, and it’s one of my favorite things,” Hoeppner said. “I love how it gets the kids interactive with books.”

Daycares are grateful for the opportunity, because they can’t always take the kids to the various activities at the library, and it gets kids involved.

The daycares get the excitement of new books and new knowledge delivered right to them.

The library has been delivering to daycares for almost six years.

“The program started slightly before I was hired at the library,” said Emanuel.

It started with only three daycares, and now serves 8-10 each month. Emanuel thinks the program is essential.

“The sooner the action of reading to a child and getting them into the excitement of reading that can take them anywhere, the better,” Emanuel said. “My goal is to get these kids interested and see the joy of reading.”

The program has a positive impact on the community from the daycares themselves, to the kids, to the parents. Emanuel and the community look forward to its continued success.