Plymouth Public Library is making summer reading a team effort for the community. “We want to see just how far we can take Antoinette,” says Kim Niesing, youth services liason.
Who’s Antoinette, and where are they taking her? Well, Antoinette is Plymouth’s beloved cow statue. And the library wants to “moooove” her across Plymouth – figuratively, of course – a paper chain.
“Each link is equal to 25 pages. And that applies to any type of reading, from children’s books to magazines to novels,” Kim explained. “We redesigned this year’s program to be open to all ages and community-wide. It’s even open to people out-of-county, or even out-of-state.”
Two chains are being created – your personal chain, and the community chain. As you read your books, add your own links at home and log them with the library. What you log will be added to the community chain. When the program ends, the community chain will be built and unrolled – starting at Antoinette and “mooooving” downtown.
And it’s not just involving individuals, but small businesses, too. Local businesses are participating within their own teams. Plus, each week, the library will have a drawing for three $20 Chamber Bucks certificates for participants, further supporting our local businesses! (There’s quite a few other prizes involved, too!)
So how do you get involved? There’s both digital and analog options, and you can find all those details here.
Kim is thrilled about the program and anticipates its continuance in the years to come. And she loves where she lives. “Sheboygan County, and Plymouth in particular, has so many opportunities, businesses, and vibrance for its size. And yet it’s a close-knit community.”
The program has now closed, but Plymouth Library reached out to us to share the end results:
Every summer, the Plymouth Public Library has a summer reading program. Because things were operating differently this summer, we decided to set a community goal to create the longest paper chain ever made in Plymouth, WI. This program was for all ages. Every time someone read 25 pages, the library added one link to the paper chain. The program was called Mooooving Across Plymouth: One Link at a Time. The library wanted to “moooove” Antoinette, a cow landmark well-known to Plymouth residents, through downtown Plymouth. Although the library was not truly physically moving Antoinette, she would move when the library walked the finished giant paper chain starting at Antoinette and going as far across town as the chain stretched. The slogan this summer was “Move the Cow!”
From June 15-August 10, children, teens, and adults from Plymouth and beyond read diligently. The library continually heard comments from the community about how this program got them reading again or how it gave them something positive to look forward to. Some area businesses even joined the program, encouraging their staff to read along.
In the end, the community read enough pages to equal 34,000 links. With the help of volunteers, the library made a paper chain 34,000 links long. On Tuesday, August 25, the library and about 40 volunteers from the Plymouth school district and the Willing Workers 4H group walked the paper chain across downtown Plymouth. We exceeded our goal by making it from one end of downtown to the other—from Antoinette to Dairy Queen, a total of 2 miles! We even had a few thousand links left over, so we like to say Antoinette made it all the way to the bull statue that is located at Farm Crest Auto Service and Storage on Hwy 57, half a mile away.
This was such a fun event that brought the community together—from city entities to businesses to residents. It was about reading, but it also was about having fun, working together, and focusing on a community goal.
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