Summer reading clubs at public libraries are nothing new. Children, teens, and even adults register for the programs, log in the books they read, and earn rewards ranging from a free book or t-shirt to more extravagant prizes like gift cards and e-readers. This summer, the Barrington Area Library is adding a unique twist to its “Read To Feed” summer library club for adults and teens. Through a partnership with a variety of local businesses, participants can eat, shop, and read to feed hungry residents of Barrington and Cuba Townships.
“Read To Feed” will take place from Monday, June 2 through Friday, August 15. How will the business partnership work to help the hungry? First of all, adults and teens who register for “Read To Feed” are being challenged to top the number of books read in last summer’s club. A goal of 1,500-plus books has been set. Adults and teens who register will receive some thank you gifts: a free book, chocolate, and Ravinia lawn tickets, while supplies last. Registrants will also be entered in semi-monthly prize drawings.
While club members are busy reading (e-books and audiobooks also count), any area resident can eat and shop at participating businesses to start generating monetary donations to the Barrington and Cuba Township food pantries. A different business will be featured for one day each week. The businesses have selected a date, specific hours on that date, and the amount of the day’s proceeds they will donate to the food pantries if the library’s reading goal is met.
For example, the first featured business is Jimmy John’s, located at 168 S. Northwest Highway in Barrington. Jimmy John’s has agreed to donate 10% of proceeds from dine-in meals that take place on June 4, from 5 PM to close. Other participating businesses are…
Cooper’s Pizza, Subway (Barrington only), Meatheads (Barrington only), Norton’s U.S.A., Paul’s Burrito Express, Nature’s Select Premium Pet Products, Savory Salads, Calibre Coffee, Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub (South Barrington only), Bear Family Restaurants Barrington McDonald’s, and Cook Street Coffee. Some of the businesses require that a voucher be brought in on their donation date, so the library will distribute voucher booklets to make it easy to participate. Full details about the club, businesses, and vouchers will also be available on the library website at balibrary.org.
You do not have to register for summer library club or have a Barrington Area Library card to get a voucher booklet or patronize the participating businesses. Individuals may even choose to give directly to the food pantries, with convenient “(Spare) Change for the Better” donation jars that will be in the library beginning in June. Head of Adult Services Rose Faber says, “We came up with the idea of the donation jars, knowing that the Barrington community is always so generous, and also knowing that families with young children might want a simple way for kids to contribute to ‘Read To Feed.’”
The “Read To Feed” idea came from the library’s Executive Director, Detlev Pansch, after hearing about a similar program at the Glen Ellyn (Il.) Public Library. “It had all the elements of a perfect fit for Barrington: a love for reading, a strong local business environment, and that commitment to charitable giving that permeates this entire community,” states Pansch. New Business Liaison Librarian Barbara Alvarez was charged with the task of contacting potential business partners, and found twelve eager businesses in a matter of weeks. “We were overwhelmed by the positive response,” says Alvarez. “We were concerned about asking too much of our small business community, but they came through for us, and the food pantries, in a big way.”
So do your part to help the hungry this summer – a time when donations to food pantries are generally low, while the need remains just as great. Combined, the Barrington and Cuba Township food pantries receive requests for food from about 250 individuals a month. You can help fill those requests by reading, eating, shopping, or just bringing in your spare change to the Barrington Area Library from June 2 through August 15.
The Barrington Area Library is located at 505 N. Northwest Highway in Barrington, IL. The library is undergoing a complete renovation, scheduled for completion in May 2014. The newly-remodeled building will feature a state-of-the-art, interactive children’s active play area, computer labs, Digital Studios, a MakerLab, Business & Technology Center, refurnished meeting and study rooms and much more. Information about the library and many free digital download services are available 24/7 online at: balibrary.org.
About the Author
Karen McBride is the Public Information Manager for the Barrington Area Library.
She’s also a professional singer, lending her talents to St. Anne Catholic Community in Barrington and her rock band of more than 20 years, Synod.
If she’s reading, it’s a glossy magazine or a rock star biography, but she’s just as likely to be walking in Cuba Marsh or on her treadmill, cheering on her beloved Bulls, or wasting time on Facebook.
To follow Karen’s library updates on Facebook, visit their page at Facebook.com/BALibrary and CLICK HERE to find all of the post published in the Barrington Area Library’s regular Books & Beyond series right here at 365Barrington.com.