What a whirlwind summer! Just when we would usually wind down after the Summer Reading program, people from all over flocked to Newington, as one of the few libraries in the state who had solar eclipse glasses! We had 920 visits to the library already this month, and 108 phone calls making this our busiest month ever! Due to limiting distribution to Newington folks starting the Friday before, we still had enough eclipse glasses to last until 1 PM on Saturday, and only 5 people went away empty handed–two of whom had already been given glasses and were hoping to get more. We enjoy hearing the stories of how many people shared their glasses with others on Monday, and were asked “however did you get a hold of these?” The answer is, Miss Amy responded to an email she received from NASA in January, on a children’s librarian listserve, announcing the opportunity for libraries to apply for free glasses. We are so happy she did, and that she asked for the maximum number which was 1,000! The Langdon Library was well-prepared for the demand for glasses, and library staff rose to the challenge of distributing them fairly. We are looking into where to recycle them, so hang on to them for now!
Even before the eclipse glasses, this was a remarkable summer. We made ice cream sundaes and froze t-shirts at our kickoff, learned about blizzards with the Museum of Science, did Tai Chi with Marsha Carr, breathed in the scent of Essential Oils with Kiska Alexandropoulos, and limbered up with Eric Morris of Great Bay Cross Fit. We also watched the hit movie LEGO Batman, saw Beauty and the Beast performed on our lawn by Hampstead Stage Company, made recycled toys with the Mariposa Museum, learned about being an architect from Lafe Covill of TMS Architects, and met a shelter pet from Cocheco Valley Humane Society! Finally, we invited Dom Andreoli of UNH Observatory to talk with us about the eclipse—and had 60 participants! 296 people in total attended our 12 summer events, (not counting weekly Family Hour on Fridays,) an average of 25 people per event.
We would like to thank the donors of this year’s prizes and congratulate the raffle winners: Julian and Timmy won tickets to Story Land, Jake and Reagan to Water Country, Daniel to Santa’s Village, Grant and Camden to Cowabunga, Natalia to Canobie Lake Park, Grace Simms and Sally Fiske to Regal Cinemas, Russ Coit and DJ Glynn to the Music Hall. 18 adults participated and 36 kids, impressive given this was the first year we had a reading log and prizes for adults. For those of you who are unaware, “Summer Reading” is a nationally recognized annual program in which the American Library Association determines a theme, this year’s was “Build a Better World,” and libraries design 6 -8 weeks of related events and programs upon that theme, while simultaneously tracking the reading of program participants. Donations such as the prizes we raffled this year are requested from local businesses in the spring, and distributed at the end of the program. Check in with the library in June next year to get your reading log right away—next year’s theme is already determined: Libraries Rock! so we will definitely be organizing some musical events!
In the meantime, don’t miss French-American singer Lucie Therrien on the library patio on Tuesday, September 7 at 6 PM, for a lecture and concert—this program sponsored by NH Humanities Council and the Langdon Library.
Thanks for an amazing summer! See you at the library!