Sonja Ferrell putting away large-print books

Library Director Sonja Ferrell returns books to the large print section of the Ottumwa Public Library on Friday. That's one of the more common shelves to get books for delivery.

OTTUMWA — If you’re a parent and your kids are home for the summer, chances are you’ve heard them say how bored they are.

If you’ve heard their complaints too many times, you may want to get your kids involved in the summer reading programs at the library.

Reading programs began in early June, but it’s still not too late to sign up. Library Director Sonja Ferrell said your kids will get to have story time with other kids, make friends and develop a lifetime love for reading.

Ferrell also said attendance has been increasing since summer began, with Kindergarten to eighth grade attendees averaging between 100 to 150. “We’ve had excellent turnouts,” she said, “Numbers may have increased because maybe we are getting the word out — the school district and teachers have encouraged them to participate.”

Ferrell also said numbers may have increased because of fun events hosted at the Hub and KCL Hall. “We’ve had Dizzy the Clown and magicians,” she said.

The fun won’t stop there. Next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., Blank Park Zoo animals will be coming to the Hub. Kids will have the opportunity to engage with the animals and hear from zoologists on how to care for zoo animals.

Ferrell is not sure what animals will come to the Hub, but she guarantees a fun time for parents and children. “Kids and parents have a fun time each year,” she said, “and it will only continue.”

While Ferrell appreciates how kids develop their reading skills and have a fun time at the events, she’s even more appreciative of the support people and organizations provide for these summer reading programs.

“We’re very grateful to the community and teachers who encourage them to sign up,” she said. “We’re grateful to businesses that fund our programs and organizations to make events happen.”

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