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By The Staff

It's a cliché in the movies and on television for a teacher to ask his or her students to write an essay about what they did during their summer vacation. If this was a movie based in Marion County, we hope at least a few children would write about their experience at the Marion County Public Library.

Every summer, the library hosts a summer reading program. Through the program, school-aged children and teenagers have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, get a meal and expand their minds.

Throughout the summer, the cumulative participation in the program exceeded 5,500 children and teenagers. This Saturday, the library will mark the end of this program with a celebration open to anyone in the community. Fun, games and a family-friendly movie will be part of the event that starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Centre Square.

While we encourage anyone and everyone to attend, we hope the community will remember the library at other times as well. As regular library patrons already know, it can be an invaluable resource.

Money is no object at the library. If you want to check out a book, a CD or a movie, all you need is a library card. (Just return it on time to avoid the fine.)

The library also has public computers, which anyone can use to write a paper for school, update a resume or just check his or her email. Everyone interested in their family history can do that research in the genealogy room, where the staff and even your fellow patrons will help point you in the right direction.

With the rise of the Internet, much of the information available in the library can be found online. But there is still something the library offers that the Internet never will - human interaction.

Students can use the library as a gathering place to study. Friends can meet up to play games, and everyone can find a book they consider interesting.

This Saturday evening, take advantage of the fun the library is hosting at Centre Square. And when it's over, remember to keep taking advantage of the countless other opportunities our library has to offer.

Trust us when we say that the library staff wouldn't want it any other way.