Midland library offers summer programs and reopening updates

For the first time in over a year, the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library (GADML) is opening its doors to patrons. 
 
Persevering through setbacks including COVID-19 and the 2020 flood, the library is now able to offer programs like the GADML Express Library and the summer reading program. The flood damaged the building’s heating, cooling, and fire alarm systems. Renovations are currently underway. 

A construction crew is currently redoing the brick work in the story area.Library Director Miriam Andrus says last year was tough for the library, but she’s hopeful to provide the full range of services the library offers. 
 
“Starting [last] week, we have opened the lobby of the library, and it's on a permanent basis throughout the summer,” Andrus says. “Every Wednesday and Thursday, patrons can come into the building, pick up their holds, and browse a small section of materials we’ve brought into the lobby.”

For the first time in over a year, the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library (GADML) is opening its doors to patrons. Construction is scheduled to begin this week on the lower level of the building’s basement, followed by mechanical work on air conditioning, hot water heater, and fire suppression system, says Andrus. She expects a six-month period of construction and aims to have the library gradually open up more days a week in mid-July. Ultimately, the goal is to be fully reopened by January 2022.
 
In the meantime, the library is gearing up to kick off its summer reading program, which runs from June 14 to Aug. 14. Adult Services Supervisor Terrie Ahlers says the digital program was well-received last year, across all ages. 

The library is gearing up to kick off their summer reading program, which runs from June 14 to Aug. 14. “Our program is for kids, teens and adults,” she says. “It’s all happening through our online app called Beanstack (a digital reading log). As they read and log their reading, they’ll earn tickets.”
 
Those earned tickets can be exchanged for local business coupons like mini-golf and ice cream, prize bundles including a scooter, ice cream machine, a reading tent and more. Kid and teen participants who complete the program will earn a free book and are entered in prize pack drawings.

By participating in the summer reading program, readers can earn prizes: local business coupons for things like mini-golf and ice cream, prize bundles including a scooter, ice cream machine, a reading tent and more.Ahlers says the summer reading program isn’t just for youngsters or adolescents though, something many patrons don’t realize. 
 
“For adults, each week during June 14-Aug. 14, we’ll be giving away 10 gift cards to local businesses,” she says. “For anybody who participates, even just once, their name will go into a drawing for a Kindle Fire Tablet. We have three of those to give away at the end of the program. The more [hours] they log reading, the better chance they’ll have of winning because they’ll have more entries in that drawing.”
 
Binge Boxes are back.The main goal is to keep people reading, but the program has also led to patrons learning about other services the library offers year-round. “Hopefully it just builds in them a love of their library, and seeing us a place to go for entertainment and education,” says Ahlers. 
 
GADML is also offering weekly STEM and storytime-to-go crafts for kids, available for curbside pickup every Wednesday. Teen and adult crafts are available once per month. Other summer programming includes a digital “Preserving Your Harvest Virtual Series,” a partnership with MSU Extension to teach about gardening and more to come.
 
For express library hours, curbside pickup information and more, go to the library’s website.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at spohn9@gmail.com.
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