Warsaw Community Public Library has a two-step prescription to combat the winter blues: read and win prizes.
The library’s adult winter reading program, now in its fifth year, runs through Feb. 28. This year the library added a children’s component and teens are now included in the adult program.
The concept is simple. Sign up online or at the library, check out books (formats include printed, e-books, audio or e-audiobooks), log the number of pages read and receive a small prize — a book; candy, coffee or hot cocoa; a toy; hand sanitizer, lip balm or lotion; or a bookmark — every 500 pages.
The program, of course, includes a choice of venues. Participants can curl up in a cushioned chair at the library, visit a local coffeehouse or hibernate within the cozy confines of their own home.
There is no pressure to perform. “It’s just for fun,” said Dana Owen, head of information services.
“It’s a relaxed version of the summer reading program,” said Amanda McFarland, the library’s adult programming administrator. “You can go at your own pace and log in pages as you go. You don’t have to finish the book.”
The maximum number of pages for which prizes are awarded is 10,000. “Many people have reached that number,” said Owen.
Children can pick up or download a bingo card and cross off the boxes on the 5-by-5 grid as they complete the stated tasks. The library offers two cards, one for preschoolers and one for students from kindergarten through sixth grade.
The program has become so popular “for the past two weeks we have had people asking to sign up early,” said Sheila Ronk, a librarian in adult information services. “People are looking forward to earning prizes for what they normally do.”
The library expanded the winter reading program from five to eight weeks last year, signing up 168 patrons.
Fiction is “a whole lot more popular” than nonfiction, according to Owen.
WCPL also hosts an almost daily menu of special presentations, arts and crafts seminars, new movie releases, story times and other activities for adults and children.
McFarland coordinates weekly Tuesday evening presentations. The 2017 programs have included an informative talk about adult education opportunities by an Ivy Tech representative and “The Rise and Fall of Fascism in Europe in the 20th Century” by Warsaw attorney David Kolbe.
One of the most popular presentations was a portrayal of Winston Churchill in early October. “We maxed out the attendance,” said McFarland, who started in her position in late August. “People are still talking about it,” she said.
Upcoming presentations include:
• Jan. 17, Zentangle, a relaxation technique using repeating patterns to draw pictures.
• Jan. 24, Creative Canvas. “Think of it as Wine and Canvas without the wine,” said McFarland.
The Tuesday presentations run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Registered dietitian Sue Delagrange of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana conducts a monthly workshop at the library. Her Thursday, Jan. 19, presentation will highlight healthy Super Bowl snack recipes. The 90-minute talk will begin at 1 p.m.
Ted Yoder, 2010 national dulcimer champion, will perform at the library in May.
The library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call (574) 267-6011, ext. 2236, or visit www.warsawlibrary.org.