CMBCL librarian helping child with books. Text reading: Your donation makes you a champion for young learners and your libraries!

A letter from Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries’ Executive Director Peter Leonard.

Dear Library Friend,

Storytimes are back, but things are different. . . .

After the pandemic pause, your libraries are once again offering in-person story times. Our librarian storytellers are skilled at engaging young minds and managing group experiences for little ones. But as in-person programs resume, our librarians are seeing new challenges.

In the past, kids who attended our storytimes often attended preschool, daycare, or other group experiences. This made library storytimes an additional opportunity for kids to engage with others in groups.

But today’s youngest attendees spent their first years with limited group interactions. The needs of these children are new and unique because isolation took away opportunities to learn social skills. This means that library storytimes will be among their first exposures to their peers and to structured social interaction.

Are your libraries up to the challenge of creating safe and educational programs that will serve the special needs of today’s youngest readers?

This is a question that Cedar Mill and Bethany Community Libraries staff have been preparing to answer since day one of the pandemic. Anticipating the needs of your community is part of our mission. Library staff are working to orient programs to children who require more guidance, more connection, and more reassurance.

Your continued support is essential as we transform programs to meet the educational needs of today’s youth. Together we must do more to help our youngest readers gain lost ground.

That’s why we work so hard to promote Summer Reading!

We all know that exercising the young brain is essential for building problem solving skills. We know that the quality of a young person’s experience with education affects their eagerness to learn. And we know that libraries are an opportunity to willingly engage in learning.

Libraries allow young people to freely chose the topics and resources that interest them. That freedom gives them ownership of their learning. That feeling of agency inspires their relationship with learning for the rest of their lives.

Summer break is the time when kids have the freedom to develop and celebrate their ability to learn on their own terms.

To champion their growth, we use part of your donations to:

  • Introduce kids to the wealth of books and resources that you helped the library collect.
  • Challenge youth to make reading a regular habit.
  • Offer innovative programs and events that inspire and educate every age group.
  • Provide fun activities and rewards to get everyone excited about using your libraries!

So you can see why storytime and Summer Reading are so important and why we need your help to keep them going. I know that we can count on you to recognize the importance of the work that we are doing, together.

With gratitude,

Peter Leonard

Peter Leonard, Executive Director

P.S. Storytime and Summer Reading are among of the many programs that your gifts make possible. Your donations make you a champion for young learners and your libraries. I am grateful that you support today’s kids!

Signing up for monthly recurring giving is the best way to pledge continuing support for your libraries and make a difference right here in your community.

Give Now


Questions about supporting your libraries? Contact or (503) 644-0043 x121.

“Thanks for being our favorite library.  We treasure you.” —Michael Z.

“THANK YOU for the awesome service you provide to the community!” —Marcia K.

“My daughters and I love the library! Thank you for all the programs, services, and great recommendations!” —Amanda M.