at the Delray Beach Public Library in June 2015. Hunter is moving from the city.
Forty-one years ago, I fell in love with Delray Beach. Ten years later I began a love affair with the Delray Beach Public Library.
In 1985 I became the Children’s Services librarian. Little did I know that the position would allow me to become a staunch advocate of early literacy, an avid supporter of community outreach and a proponent of any individual under 3 feet tall.
My first summer reading program had a budget of $40 and was attended by 11 children. During the seven weeks of the 2016 summer reading program, we served 700 children, with 149 in-house and outreach programs resulting in a total attendance of 6,776 children.
Perhaps I am missing something, because I have been hearing that libraries are becoming obsolete. The numbers I cited tell me that this is not the case, and was most likely a rumor circulated by the publishers of e-books (which, incidentally, are available at the library).
The Delray Beach Public Library has grown because it had a city that respected and supported it, parents who brought their children and grandchildren and recognized the great need for supplemental education through literacy programming. I am proud to say that our little library offers some of the best programs in the country, not only for children but for adults and teens as well.
This is accomplished with less funding than larger systems, because our library team takes the time to listen to residents when they tell us what they need.
As I make plans for my relocation to another area of the South, I ask parents to continue to bring their children to our programs, support the library and the librarians in their endeavors, and continue to give children the experiences that I know change lives for the good.
I see wonderful, innovative programming continuing to grow in our new Children’s Services Department. Please take advantage of what we have to offer.
Finally, I would like to tell you how grateful I am. I was able to raise my children in this beautiful city by the sea. I have been given the honor of teaching your children and in some cases, your children’s children, the art of loving to read. For this I am supremely grateful. Much love to our library, city and all who dwell within.
— Lynda Hunter
Children’s Services librarian