By Gary Miodzik
Special to The Ely Times

White Pine County Library Director Lori Romero stated “the library material budget was reduced 10% in 2020 and 5% in 2021. The cost of library materials has increased as (has) the cost of everything. This results in less books being purchased.”

Submitted photo
Gary & Tina Miodzik pack totes of books in preparation of delivery to the White Pine County Library

Kids Need to Read is supplying 625 new books to the Ely Library. This book grant has a cover value of $8,500. Romero said, “I know your donation is going to fill a lot of gaps for us!”

As a retired elementary school Librarian, Tina Mlodzik stresses the importance of supporting public libraries, especially in communities where children may not own their own books.

“Giving children access to a large quantity and varied selection of books has many benefits,” Tina Mlodzik said. “The more books a child sees, the more motivated they are to read. Borrowing books from the library teaches sharing and builds respect for things that belong to others.”

Grow Your Library will hold a special storytime event at the White Pine County Library from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The library is located at 950 Campton St. The brightly colored KNTR Page Coach will be on site for this literacy event bringing lots of gifts for the children who attend story time.

Each child in attendance will receive a free book, Highlights magazine and Highlights activity book courtesy of KNTR.

The first 75 children will also receive a plush reading buddy provided to KNTR courtesy of PetSmart Charities. After the event, each child will have the opportunity to donate a book in their name on behalf of KNTR. This no-cost opportunity teaches the children to use their own love of reading to help the White Pine County Library receive even more free books in the future.

“I developed the Grow Your Library program to introduce a giving culture in the youth we meet at literacy events,” said Gary Mlodzik. “Putting a book in the hands of a child and allowing them to expand their horizons is magical. Allowing that child to make a small effort in order to share that magic for future generations is a priceless lesson. It is my hope that the children will be proud of the book donations made in their name and tell their friends, thereby further encouraging both literacy and philanthropy.”

When asked about the motive behind the project, Kids Need to Read Executive Director Jessica Payne stated, “A library is the heart of any community. Kids Need to Read’s Grow Your Library program not only invests in these indispensable bastions of literary treasure, it also encourages and connects the communities served by each library in order to inspire support for future generations. Children who participate in this program learn that they too can make a difference.”

This will be the 38th community served by Grow Your Library since its inception in 2015.