Lakewood OH

Giving back, summer programs and going digital at Westlake Porter Library

By Emily McIntyre


Westlake Porter Public Library participated for the first time in United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Stuff the Bus with Books event on June 21 at Progressive Field.

An RTA bus parked at Progressive Field near the Indians Rally Alley was filled with books brought down by the community, said Andrew Mangels, the library’s director; all nine participating library systems in Cuyahoga County were collecting for two weeks beforehand as well.

“The idea was to make sure kids keep reading all summer, which studies show helps them retain that skill during the summer break, setting them up to do better in the new school year,” said Elaine Willis, public relations associate at Westlake Porter Public Library.

Willis said the response from Westlake was strong, and that more books were collected than anticipated.

The gathered materials from Stuff the Bus will be distributed to less fortunate community members across the county who might not be able to afford books of their own.

During the summer – the busiest time of year for the library – several programs will be offered for all ages, including the children’s summer reading program, Science Week and Summer Brain Games.

This will be the fourth annual Science Week at the library.

“For me, so much of this is about reinforcing what the school district (teaches),” Mangels said. “What they’re doing is a STEM curriculum now and there needs to be emphasis on science all year-round. That’s what Science Week is really all about.”

Additionally, a new service called hoopla digital was implemented for card-holding patrons. Hoopla, Mangels explained, resembles the Netflix streaming model, where users browse movies and TV shows by categories. Up to 10 items per month can be downloaded for one week.

“The fact of the matter is, every single library is experiencing that DVD and music CD circulation is on the decline, precisely because of the streaming,” Mangels said. “Now with hoopla, when people download that, we’ll get the count added to the circulation, so to a certain degree it will probably help circulation.”

Patrons can also access hoopla from a mobile app (downloaded on smartphones, tablets, etc.) or through the service’s website.



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