Literary Elements: Library offers adult reading program

In hopes of getting residents to not only read, but enjoy reading, the Wilton Library kicked off its “Literary Elements” adult summer reading program Monday, July 7.

“It’s an online reading program and for every book you read, you’ll be put into a drawing for a Chamber of Commerce gift certificate each week for six weeks,” explained Wilton Library Head of Reference and Assistant Director Lauren McLaughlin, who is heading the Literary Elements program.

Ms. McLaughlin said Literary Elements participants may read as many books as they want, but to be in the weekly drawing each Monday afternoon, they have to have read one book that week.

“If someone doesn’t read a book one week then they won’t be in the drawing, but if they want to read one the next week, that would be fine,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

“Also, if they read three books in one week, then they’ll be entered three times for the weekly drawing.”

Wilton Library introduced this new program as part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s “Connecticut Reads” summer reading challenge program, sponsored by the Connecticut State Library.

“The software we use for this is all sponsored by the Connecticut State Library, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

Wilton Library’s “Spark A Reaction” reading program for teens and “Mythical, Magical” reading program for children are also part of the Connecticut Reads program.

As part of the program, Literary Elements participants write anonymous book reviews, which are posted to the Wilton Library website.

“I’m in charge of looking at the reviews before they get posted,” said Ms. McLaughlin, “just so we know someone’s not getting on and writing something that shouldn’t be on there.”

The library received six reviews on the first day of the program, most of which, Ms. McLaughlin said, were two or three sentences long.

“So far we have reviews ranging from the classic Rebecca to We Were Liars, which is a best-seller right now,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

If participants prefer rating books on a scale rather than by writing reviews, Ms. McLaughlin said, the Literary Elements program also has a star-rating option.

“You can rate a book one to five stars, with five being the best, if you’d rather do that instead of writing a reviews,” she explained.

As of July 7, Ms. McLaughlin said, 15 people had registered for the adult reading program.

“Considering it’s the first day, that’s very cool,” she said.

In addition to reading reviews before they are posted online, Ms. McLaughlin said her other responsibilities include informing library patrons about the program and drawing the names of gift certificate winners each week.

“I also come in every morning and check to see if any new people have signed up for the program,” she said.

Goal

Wilton Library’s goal for the Literary Elements program, said Ms. McLaughlin, is to “garner discussion” and help people find books that might interest them.

Although the library has never been asked to host an adult reading program, said Ms. McLaughlin, “that doesn’t mean that there’s not an interest.”

“It was something I thought the town would be interested in, mainly because we do get questions all the time about what’s a good book to read,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

“We’re hoping this program gets people who are looking for something to read this summer to see what others are recommending.”

Since people seem to enjoy talking about books they have read and would recommend, said Ms. McLaughlin, she thinks people will enjoy Literary Elements.

“We do have the Book Buzz program here at the library every month, and that’s exactly what Literary Elements is — we get together and talk about books,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

“Literary Elements is kind of a growth from the Book Buzz program, except it’s like the online version of that.”

Wilton Library’s Literary Elements adult summer reading program runs through Aug. 17 and registration is done online at wiltonlibrary.org.

“We have adult librarians who would be happy to help anybody who is interested, would like some more information or would like some help signing up online for the program,” said Ms. McLaughlin.

For help with registration, visit the Wilton Library reference desk or call 203-762-3950, ext. 211.