Delaware’s first lady Tracey Quillen Carney and Delaware Libraries celebrated libraries and reading during Summer Library Reading Celebrations at the Milford Public Library and Route 9 Library and Innovation Center.

The first lady, Delaware libraries, United Way and other partners encouraged children and teens to continue to use their library card year-round.

“Promoting early literacy and school readiness is a critical part of giving all of Delaware’s children a ‘first chance’ to succeed,” said Carney. “The library habit is about literacy, as well as parent-child engagement and access to other services that support strong and healthy families. To support our families and a first chance for all of our children, I encourage every Delawarean to get and use a Delaware library card.”

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Delaware's Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and ensures school success.”

“Opening a book opens children’s minds to possibilities and expands their view of other worlds,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “Libraries are a wonderful place to start those adventures for all readers.”

“To borrow a line from Emily Dickinson, libraries allow us to ‘dwell in possibility,’” said Rep. Krista M.Z. Griffith. “They are lighthouses for learning and oases for imagination.”

The Colonial School District Libraries are members of the Delaware Library Consortium, and a new pilot program with New Castle County Libraries for teens in the district was launched at the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center. The new library card enables teens to check out up to 12 items fine-free from any library in New Castle County. The Colonial School District is including library card applications with their parent paperwork.

“Our library system enables countless residents to study, learn and find work,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “I am excited for the new teen library card and the endless possibilities as well as help to overcome barriers such as library fines, a long-time challenge when it comes to continued literacy and growing appreciation for our libraries.”

“By allowing students to check out multiple books, providing access to diverse literature across multiple genres, we are allowing our students to utilize books as mirrors, windows and doors as a means to make connections, share perspectives and learn more about the world and ourselves,” said Dusty Blakey, superintendent, Colonial School District.

“Anytime is a great time for students and their families to engage in activities that nurture a love of reading,” said Schlonn Hawkins, director, Get Delaware Reading. “United Way is excited to provide resources that will help children avoid summer learning loss and prepare for the upcoming school year.”

“Libraries provide opportunities for students to explore questions, to follow their own interests, to make connections,” said state librarian Annie Norman. “Studies have shown that children who participate in public library summer programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the new school year, experience less summer reading loss, and begin the school year with more confidence.”