Teacher Fondly Recalls OPL Summer Reading Program

As a kid, Dundee Elementary school teacher and aspiring novelist Michelle Phillips recalled a jam-packed summer full of swimming, sprinklers, Barbies and books. On her blog she noted Omaha Public Library’s Summer Reading Program as playing a big part in her summer memories.

Michelle Phillips with her mom

“My earliest memory of the Library is at Millard Branch [13214 Westwood Ln.], walking in to sign up for the Summer Reading Program with my mom, sister, brother and cousin. That card meant a summer filled with reading and prizes. Each day after lunch, we would read for an hour. [Once] finished, we knew there would be more summer fun waiting for us.”

These days Michelle uses the Library for more than just checking out books. She checks out back issues of magazines for recipes and organization tips, as well as classic movies like The Graduate. She’s also a fan of Playaways, which aid in suggesting titles to her students. “I love listening to them while I clean or drive around Omaha,” Michelle noted of the audiobooks. Michelle also uses the Library as a place to write, as she is working on her first novel.

As a library advocate, she encourages her students to use the library, too. “We are lucky to have an incredible library at Dundee Elementary, and an Omaha Public Library branch close to us – A.V. Sorensen [4808 Cass St.]. Many of my students frequent the Library and Recreation Center [there].”

Michelle continued, “Teachers have a very important role to play in advocating for libraries. The things we teach our students not only impact them in the short term, but stay with them as they progress through life. If teachers help children to understand the benefits and joy that libraries can offer them, then we can ensure a generation of enthusiastic, intelligent, well-read young people.”

Michelle may love the Library now more than ever. “Libraries are an amazing and incredible world! I am so grateful to live in a city where libraries are a priority. Omaha Public Library branches are a wonderful resource and we are lucky to have them.”

Though Summer Reading Program has ended, click here to see what great events are happening during September for Omaha Reads. Also, see what free resources you may be missing out on at omahalibrary.org.

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