B the Reader is an Appetizing New Reading Incentive at Muhlenberg Community Library

Reading skills are essential. According to the Pennsylvania Library Association, basic literacy is a focus for PA libraries because “thirteen percent of Pennsylvanians lack basic literacy skills such as the ability to read a newspaper or brochure. This percentage of Pennsylvanians who struggle with basic literacy remains unchanged from 1992.” Furthermore, half of the unemployed in the nation aged 16-21 are “functional illiterates with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.” Muhlenberg Community Library and Boscov’s understand how important it is to encourage practice in the next generation of readers and are seeking to make a difference locally.

Boscov’s has teamed up with the Muhlenberg Community Library to offer a reading incentive program called B the Reader. Children in Kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to participate on a monthly basis. B the Reader Rewards Log Sheets will be available at Muhlenberg Community Library on June 1st and at the start of every month thereafter. Children complete the log by reading 20 books. Completed log sheets can be turned in at the library to receive a Reading Award Certificate which can then be redeemed for a free breakfast at the Restaurant at Boscov’s North, up to a $4.99 value. Breakfast hours are available Monday- Saturday 8AM-11AM and all day Sunday, 8AM-2PM, at the Restaurant at Boscov’s, 2910 North 5th Street Highway in Reading.

In addition to earning a free breakfast, all children who redeem their Reading Award Certificate at the restaurant will also be entered into a monthly drawing for a $25 Boscov’s gift card! B the Reader is a year-round program that will be available January-December. Starting this June, visit Muhlenberg Community Library at 3612 Kutztown Road in Laureldale to pick up a B the Reader Rewards Log Sheet and some books that will start your children on a tasty reading adventure.

Libraries strengthen their communities: Celebrate National Library Week April 7 through 13

This week, public libraries in Berks County join libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs, and expertise. 

April 7-13, 2019 is National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and communities. Libraries are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools, and campuses. They have public spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together and connect.

While often associated with books, today’s public libraries offer a full spectrum of services and programs, helping open doors of new opportunities for their patrons. These programs encourage community members to meet and discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3D printing, or learn alongside one another in English language classes. Library staff also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage with the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s core needs are being met.

As the world continues to grow, libraries are here to help patrons explore that bigger world.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

Reading Public Library to offer conversational Spanish classes at Northeast Branch

Reading Public Library will be offering free conversational language classes at the library’s Northeast Branch, 1348 N. 11th St.

The classes, designed for English speakers to learn and practice basic Spanish, will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesdays from April 9 to May 28, 2019.

Ineavelle Ruiz, Human Services Supervisor at Centro Hispãno, will teach the course.  Ruiz will use traditional teaching methods as well as a free language learning app available for mobile devices.  Students will also get the opportunity to facilitate learning through conversation with ESL students.

To register online, visit http://readingpubliclibrary.org/conversational-spanish-class/ or call 610.655.6361.

Reading Public Library offering family photo shoots

Family photo shoots will be available at Reading Public Library’s Main Library and three branches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2019.

The event is being held in collaboration with Barrio Alegria’s Leadership Cohort. Photos, being shot by community-based photographers, will be available for pick-up at a future date.

The photo shoot and finished photo will be free with the only restriction being that the photo depicts the family involved in a literary-based activity such as reading together.

Branch locations can be found on the library’s website at readingpubliclibrary.org/locations-hours/ .

Registration is not required.

For more information, contact RPL Outreach Coordinator Daniel Egusquiza at 610.334.2834.

Reading Public Library to present “Great Decisions” discussion group series

For the first time, Reading Public Library will be joining venues around Berks County to present the “Great Decisions” Discussion Group Series, bringing conversations on the most critical issues facing America today to a city venue. The following topics will be presented during this inaugural season:

The U.S. and Mexico: Partnership Tested, Wednesday, March 27

Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics,  Wednesday, April 24

Refugees and Global Migration, Wednesday, May 29

The discussion group will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Reading Public Library Foundation building, 113 S. 4th St., Reading. Light lunch will be served.

Topics are presented through a briefing book, video presentation and facilitated discussion. The $30 registration fee includes a briefing book with expert papers on all eight of the 2019 topics and participants can attend discussion groups on any of the current topics being presented throughout our community. The Great Decisions series is supported by the World Affairs Council of Reading.

Sherry Cameron, a member of RPL’s Board of Trustees and the World Affairs Council of Reading’s Board of Director’s stated the following about this new venue, “We are very pleased to be expanding the reach of these vital conversations and believe that this series fits with the library’s ongoing goal of promoting informed citizenry.”

Register online at reading publiclibrary.org or by calling 610.478.8977.

Scholarships are available and scholarship participants are encouraged. A list of all locations offering Great Decisions 2019 can be found at wacreading.org/great-decisions/.

Winners announced in 17th annual Berks County Public Libraries awards celebration

Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service—Renee Dietrich, Reading Public Library Trustee

Berks County Public Libraries held its 17th annual awards celebration 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the system headquarters on Berks Road. The awards honored outstanding library services in addition to individuals and organizations in the community for their support and contributions to the advancement of libraries in Berks County.

Pictured from left are system administrator Amy Resh and Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt.

The award recipients from the 17th annual awards celebration are:

34 nominations from individuals and groups were submitted this year for consideration in categories such as Outstanding Local Business, Trustee of the Year, and the Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service, among others. The Berks County Public Libraries Board of Directors selected category winners and presented the awards in front of an audience of nearly 60 people.

  • Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service—Renee Dietrich, Reading Public Library Trustee
  • Trustee of the Year—Joanne Yoder, Kutztown Community Library
  • Outstanding Elected Official—Shawn Raup-Konsavage, Mayor of Bernville
  • Outstanding Library Director—Melissa Adams, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Outstanding Community Organization—Northern Berks EMS
  • Outstanding Local Business—Snapology of Reading and Lancaster PA
  • Outstanding Fundraising Effort—Under a Spell at MCL, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Outstanding Program—Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Linda Baer Friend of the Year—Dian Beamesderfer, Friend of the Womelsdorf Community Library
  • Chet Hagan Memorial Public Relations Award—Schuylkill Valley Community Library

For more information about each award and the 2018 recipients, visit berkslibraries.org/17th-annual-awards.

Berks Book Bonanza Returns to Berkshire Mall for 2019

FBerks Book Bonanza is pleased to announce that it will be returning to the Berkshire Mall for 2019. The annual used book sale will be held Thursday through Sunday, July 11th-14th, 2019 at a site to be determined in the Berkshire Mall.

Collections of gently-used books and materials will begin Monday, March 25th at the entrance next to Firehouse Subs. People wishing to donate materials for Book Bonanza can stop by Monday and Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m–12:00 noon or Wednesday evenings from 5:00–7:00 p.m. Volunteers will assist book donors with unloading vehicles during these times. Donations will be accepted up through June 26. A complete list of acceptable donations can be found on the Berks Book Bonanza website, www.berksbookbonanza.org.

As preparations for the area’s largest book sale begin, shoppers will see the return of some familiar favorites.

In 2018, Ellen Smoll , general manager of the Berkshire Mall, threw out a lifeline to Book Bonanza and offered a collection and sale space for the homeless fundraiser. Grateful for the opportunity to have a sale, Book Bonanza made some necessary changes to accommodate the new area. When approached about bringing Book Bonanza back for 2019, Smoll generously offered to hold the sale at the Berkshire Mall once again and arranged for the sale to have the one thing it most desperately needed: more space.

For 2019, Book Bonanza will bring back the popular Thursday pre-sale opener for early bird shoppers. Also making another appearance: the holding and collectibles areas. Bulk shoppers will be able to store their items in the holding area as they continue to shop, while enthusiasts can browse through unique and hard-to-find local treasures in the collectibles area. As anticipated, the sale will be also offer a wide range of books, DVD’s, CD’s, games, and puzzles.

The 2019 Berks Book Bonanza sale will occur on the following dates:

–         Thursday, July 11 from 1:00 p.m.—4 p.m. ($10 Early Bird Presale)

–         Friday, July 12 from 9:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m.

–         Saturday, July 13 from 9:00 a.m.—7:00 p.m.

–         Sunday, July 14 from 11:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m. ($5 bag of books sale)

Reading Public Library to present “TechTacular,” a technology fair for all ages

Reading Public Library is holding its  “TechTacular” event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Main Library, 100 S. Fifth St.  Stop by to explore a variety of technology-related activities throughout the library.

Bring your smartphones, iPads, Kindles and more to the Reference Department and learn about the library’s free e-media resources and how to set them up on your device.

Visit the Teen Library Loft to learn about the library’s teen tech programs including Girls Who Code, a national coding sisterhood.

Play with a variety of TechiToys in the Children’s Library.

All ages are welcome. Pre-registration is not required and all activities are free.

Reading Public Library Northeast Branch to present program on Appalachian Trail trek

The Northeast Branch of Reading Public Library, 1348 N. 11th St., will present a program entitled “Tales from the Trail,” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

Featured speaker Angelique Krohn, youth service coordinator at the library’s Northeast Branch and 2018 thru-hiker, will relate what it’s like to hike the entire 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail through 14 different states along America’s east coast.

A question-and-answer session will follow Angelique’s trail stories; light refreshments will be served.

The event is free of charge and pre-registration is not required.  For more information, call 610.655.6361.

ICYMI: Kutztown Community Library announces bus trip

On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, the Kutztown Community Library is sponsoring a bus trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme is Flower Power and pays tribute to the enormous impact of flowers on our lives.

The cost is $80 per person and includes bus fare, driver’s tip and admission; lunch is NOT included.

For more information, call the library at 610.683.5820. The Kutztown Community Library is located at 70 Bieber Alley.