Did you know that reading, even if it is only for twenty minutes a day, can significantly improve your well-being ? Besides the obvious benefits of learning something new, improving your linguistic skills, increasing your vocabulary and generally keeping your mind active and expanding in ways that will serve you well in all areas of life, the most recent studies done on reading cite its huge benefits for improving empathy towards others and reducing stress.
We library staff who work with children and youth have the daily pleasure of interacting with young readers and helping them and their parents and educators to find the right title or titles for them to read. It is the most rewarding part of our job to see a child light up with enthusiasm when they discover that the Library has a book which can give them new facts on paleo-sharks, or how to care for a new puppy or a novel which will transport them into a world of fantasy or espionage or adventure.
Each summer we offer a summer reading program which encourages reading during July and August and helps children to maintain and improve their skills between school grades. It is part of the national program known as the TD Summer Reading Club and children receive small incentives for weekly reading, share their stories with us and have a grand wrap-up party at summer’s end. In response to those who wonder if reading is a dying art or if books have all been replaced by technology, I wish you could have heard their amazing accounts of what they were reading and how they felt about it. But at least I can share with you that the registered children reported reading over 4,000 books this summer at your Library. When you realize that almost 300,000 children are registered across the province, you know that public libraries are helping children discover new books, improve their reading and improve their well-being on a grand scale.
Thanks to all the amazing Thunder Bay children who participated this year. To them, it may not have felt like they were doing all of these good things for themselves, because to them, it just felt like fun! And it was.