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When planning the topics for the monthly Under the Clock Tower column, I try to focus the topics on achieving two basic goals: to provide an extra bump of promotion to important happenings in Columbus (i.e. road projects, city programs), and to see if I can shed a spotlight on activities taking place in the city that you may not otherwise be aware of. For this month, I want to use both of those concepts on one single important community entity: the Columbus Public Library and its Summer Reading Program.

First, the happening: besides the many useful and well-attended programs the Columbus Public Library provides (I know my son has joyfully participated in Lego Club and Pokeman Club with high praise), one of the bigger, more critical programs is about to return: the Summer Reading Program. We are still about a month away from the official kick off (Friday, June 1 on the library lawn, for the annual “Friday Night Out”) it’s time to let you all know about how important this is each year for our library. The Friday Night Out is a community event welcome to all that features entertainment, fellowship and a fun way to sign up for the program. Both of my children have participated in this in the past and have found the program to be very enjoyable approach to reading. In speaking with Library Director Cindy Fesemyer, it should be known that the Summer Reading Program is not only for kids, but also for adults, who are welcomed and encouraged to participate.

So I encourage you to stop down for the kickoff, check what is going on at our library—our “headquarters” for some amazing activities, resources and support for our community.

Second, the spotlight: The reason the Summer Reading Program is so important is because literacy and reading are so important. Cindy shared with me some background information on it. It is clear the development of good reading habits and skills leads to so many rewards in life. We all know knowledge is power, but understanding communication and the meaning that books bring can lead to success in so many areas. Success in school in virtually all subject areas and disciplines, success in work by utilizing reading skills to advance in your vocation, and success in developing relationships and friendships that just enhance what makes you, you!

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The Columbus Public Library has seen some great things come its way recently, with recognitions nationally on the services they provide. Last week’s edition of the Columbus Journal reported on the recent award of the National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which is a great opportunity for the community to assist in strategic facility and service planning. This is a partnership the city is very eager to start on with the library and it is expected to provide necessary blue prints to how the city will look in the future.

While work with the grant and facility planning is set to launch soon, I want to turn the spotlight back and urge you to check out the Columbus Public Library, in particular, check out the Summer Reading Program this year. You won’t regret doing so!

If you have any questions on this or any other issue before city government, please contact me at City Hall at 623-5900 or via email at pvandersanden@columbuswi.us.

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