Keeping children’s librarians strong with caring people

Thursday, August 18, 2011    Last updated: Thursday August 18, 2011, 1:23 AM
Verona-Cedar Grove Times

Public libraries play a critical role in helping young children to learn how to read.

That's why it's important facilities like the Verona and Cedar Grove public libraries employee professionals as caring and dedicated as Cheryl Ashley.

Ashley is the new children's librarian in Verona.

She comes to the township with impressive qualifications.

Having worked in libraries for more than 10 years, Ashley is dedicated to helping children understand the value of continuing their interests in reading, writing and literature.

"To see a young child develop an interest in reading, I can't tell you how rewarding that is, because you know you're giving them a lifelong gift," Ashley tells the Verona-Cedar Grove Times.

Ashley replaces Rebecca Burkhart, known to children simply as "Mrs. B."

Burkhart passed away in May.

Studies across America show that children's summer reading programs and pre-school programs play an integral role in helping children to develop their reading skills.

According to the Pennsylvania Library Association, a recent survey of literature shows that libraries "play a major role in fostering literacy in our nation, particularly among children, teenagers and adults who need special assistance in developing literacy skills."

Across the United States, summer reading programs grow each year.

In Verona and Cedar Grove, such programs are offered each summer with dozens of local children in attendance.

So let's keep our libraries up and running with available public funding.

And let's keep our local libraries strong with help from dedicated professionals like Cheryl Ashley of whom we are sure "Mrs. B" would be most proud.