Manny Sanchez may have worked harder than anybody else. In the end, he read enough to win a brand new pair of headphones.

The Summer Reading Program at the West Liberty Public Library (WLPL) has come to an end, and only one word describes it, success! Over 300 people of all ages participated in the library’s push to read, which included prizes, field trips, and plenty of fun activities along the way. The first 150 participants received a T-shirt from Hills Bank and Trust sporting the words “Universe of Stories,” the theme of this summer’s reading program.


  “I think the community response this year was amazing, both the adults and children,” said Deb Lowman, Director of the WLPL. “We had over 100 adults sign up, which is a West Liberty record,” she added. “To see almost ten percent of our population sign up speaks well of our community.” Overall, participants read nearly 1,000 books, not including the hundreds of hours of reading completed by children ages seven and under. Everyone reaped their rewards, including thirty prizes raffled off for readers of completed books.

Kirsten Kuhre-Holmquist was the big winner this year, taking home a telescope from the book raffle.


  Children and youth went on a fishing and canoeing trip at the Muscatine Discovery Center, traveled to the Children’s Museum in Coralville, held a Nerf night, had a pool party, and participated in a lock-in at the library.Adults took a tour of the City of Literature, Iowa City (through the Center for the Book), saw a special collection of books by Walt Whitman in the University of Iowa Special Collections, and traveled to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
  The WLPL would like to extend a special thank you to all their sponsors, without whom they could not do all the extra events and activities that make the library great.

Sponsors included Casey’s General Store, Fred’s Feed and Supply, Friends of the WLPL, Hills Bank and Trust, Jan and William Koellner, Jeff’s Market, the New Strand Theatre, Shop 121, and West Liberty Foods.