Toni Mendieta, librarian at the Winters Branch Library, says that summer break is her favorite time to come in to work. During the school year the library is bustling with activity and high school students. Mendieta says that there is so much to do in these months that she is hardly able to step out of her office.
In the summertime, though, library traffic slows down. A different portion of the community walks through the doors, and when they show up they spend more time there. This is when Mendieta likes to step out onto the floor and interact with the patrons.
Mendieta smiles when she shares the story of two grandmothers who visited with a gaggle of grandchildren between them. When Mendieta heard loud giggling from the children’s section, she assumed it would be the grandchildren playing with the manipulative toys. Curious, she walked into the room.
What she saw there made her laugh.
Instead of the children, Mendieta found their grandmothers lounging on the floor, reading together.
“We get to see families really spending time together and enjoying each other,” Mendieta says. She likes to know that the library is a space where families can do that while celebrating reading.
“It’s that simple,” she says, and adds, “it’s that magical.”
Families like Cori Bronson’s visit the library often. This week, they were looking for resources to help them plan future vacations. Bronson says that for her daughter, Brinly, the most important part of vacation planning is finding a good book to take with her. Brinly has been coming to the Winters library since she was attending story time. Now, Bronson says, Brinly jumps at the chance to swing by and pick out a new book.
Other patrons, like Christian Aceres, visit the library for academic purposes. Aceres comes to work on his summer school assignments at one of the library’s study spaces. He likes that he can use the Internet connection to listen to music while writing and researching.
“There’s multiple sources that I can check,” Aceres says while gesturing to the stacks. He appreciates that when he’s looking for information on the shelves, he can trust that he will find reliable sources.
While he works on his laptop, Aceres explains that there is more to the library than books and a good Internet connection. Liz Coman and Olivia Roderiguez, both English teachers turned librarians, have helped him edit his essays before he submits them to be graded.
While students like Aceres are using the library to study, teachers like Pat Scholl are also taking advantage of the library’s summer programs. Scholl teaches a special education course over the summer, and she brings her students to check out books for their classroom.
“Listening to them was wonderful,” Scholl says when she describes the students’ excitement as they picked out books on their favorite topics.
Scholl and her students signed up for the summer reading program, an annual event dedicated to encouraging readers of all ages to challenge themselves to meet their reading goals.
This year, participants of all ages can choose to either read for 10 hours, read on 10 days or to finish 10 books. After readers complete their goal, they will receive a reward and will be entered into a grand prize drawing. Those interested in joining the summer reading program can sign up online through the Yolo county website, or register in person at the Winters Branch Library.
The Winters library hosts recurring events, such as family story time, which takes place on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m., and Aguas Frescas, which will take place on Thursday, Jun 28 at 6 p.m.
There are also special events occuring in June. An interpretive drawing class called “The Remix: Art and Turntables” will take place on Wednesday, June 20 at 2 p.m. Children are invited to participate in a virtual reality game on Wednesday, June 27 at 2 p.m.
For more information about the summer reading program and upcoming library events, visit the Winters Branch Library.