New Portage library employee to relaunch adult summer reading program

April 11, 2019

Bringing back a summer reading program for adults in Portage is a move Pam Roets is making for the children, too.

The recently hired adult programmer at the Portage Public Library understands that children often do what they see their parents doing. Those children might also do what they see their grandparents doing, she said.

And their siblings. And their friends.

And so on.

“I have two kids myself,” Roets said. “I try to show them that reading is fun.”

The summer reading program for adults is the first to be offered in Portage in three years, children’s librarian Dawn Foster said. Details for it are still being worked out by Roets — she started working in Portage on March 25 — but she expects it to be part of the Summer Library Program that kicks off with a big party on June 6.

It will very likely mirror the summer reading programs for children and teens, which offer prizes, library staff members said.

“It gets people to read as a family,” said Susan Santner, the interim library director.

Santner — who has more than 25 years of experience in Wisconsin libraries — said she’s seen summer reading programs for adults become more common at libraries in the past 10 years.

The reason for that is simple, she said. “We believe if the adults sign up for it, their kids might, too.”

Roets worked as a reading and library aide in the Rosendale-Brandon School District for three years before she joined the library in Portage. Roets also worked for three years as a youth programmer at Kewaunee Public Library.

She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is a 1994 Portage High School graduate.

“This is home,” Roets said of returning to the community she and her husband, Nathan Roets, both grew up in.

Nathan Roets is the principal of Laconia High School in Rosendale and also graduated in Portage High School’s Class of 1994.

“We were motivated to come back because we love the community and we wanted to be closer to family and friends,” Pam Roets said.

Roets replaces Autumn Baumann as adult programmer after Baumann was promoted to the position of circulations supervisor. The library is currently reviewing applicants for its open adult services position previously held by Leslie Schultz, who is now the director at Slinger Community Library.

“We’re so looking forward to the programs that she’ll bring and so excited that she’s joined us,” Santner said of Roets, who’s already scheduled a book signing with local author Joy Ribar at the library on July 25 and is busy formulating other offerings for the summer.

For more information about the library’s current and upcoming adult programming, visit portagelibrary.us.

‘Spaceship’ lands in Portage

The library has a new microfilm machine thanks to several thousands of dollars in donations from the Portage Library Foundation and private citizens, Teen Services and Technology Coordinator Chris Baker said.

The ST ViewScan 4 — three generations newer than the library’s previous microfilm machine that had malfunctioned earlier this year — offers patrons advanced features in cropping, sharing and saving.

“It looks like a spaceship,” Baker said of the machine that also more clearly displays the library’s extensive records collection, which dates back to 1840. “You can save directly to Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive and more.

“It really is a top-of-the-line model with ongoing technical support. ... We’re so thankful to everyone who made this happen and it’s amazing we were able to get one so quickly.”