The Destin Library had record-breaking attendance during the month of June and is now expected to have a record-breaking summer.
The library smashed all previous program attendance records with 26 children’s program and a total of 885 visitors last month. The library combines June and July and calculates how many children and adults participated in their programs.
“Last year, we had a total of 1,125 patrons for the summer and I’m sure we will exceed it this month," said Will Rogers, reference and youth services librarian.
Rogers said the two main reasons they are having their best summer are they are better advertising their programs and they divide age groups so kids can be with other children their own age, something the kids and parents enjoy.
The State Library and Archives of Florida develops the annual themes libraries should use during their summer programs. This year, the theme was “Build a Better World.”
“We wanted to try something different with music, visual arts, and performing arts,” Rogers said. “(The kids) are learning self-confidence and the ability to think outside the box.”
Since the beginning of the summer, the number of kids wanting to participate in the summer programs has been growing.
“We are doing something (kids) like that is different from what the other Okaloosa County libraries are doing,” he said.
Library Director Jurate Burns said parents want their children to be engaged at the library.
“Parents are looking for places where their children can engage socially instead of being isolated at home with video games,” she said. “It’s a good way for mothers to network with each other.”
Burns said the library is becoming a community gathering place.
“We don’t have a problem with people eating outside and having picnics when the weather is perfect outside… we encourage it,” she said.