The summer reading program at the Denison Public Library continued Saturday with a zoo animal presentation. “Zoofari” gave children the opportunity to see a Madagascar tenrec, a red ruff lemur also of Madagascar, an African monkey, an Australian baby kangaroo, and an Indonesian salmon-crested cockatoo.


The library is hosting weekly children’s events as part of the program that encourages children to read and take advantage of the library throughout the summer.


“We have seen an 178 percent increase in those signing up for the summer reading program from last year,” Denison Library Director Kimberly Bowen said. “We have always done weekly club meetings (for the summer reading club). But, I noticed some of the other libraries having weekly programs and I thought that would be something interesting to start.”


Nearly 200 people attended Saturday’s program and Bowen said she was a little overwhelmed with how popular programs like “Zoofari” have been.


“I have a heart for the kids and we were not going to turn the kids away,” Bowen said of the program that children were supposed to have tickets to attend. “It does my heart good knowing that we have tapped into a definite interest for the kids here.”


Jennifer Stein brought one child with her to the event she learned about through Facebook.


“I want to attend more programs like this,” she said. “I have been trying to find more programs like this. We love anything that includes animals.”


Brittany Thomas brought her son and daughter to the library Saturday. She said that the programs are good for both her toddler and baby.


“We often attend programs at the library,” she said. “This keeps kids occupied in the summer time and gets kids involved in the community. It also consumes his interests.”


Thomas said that her son’s favorite program at the library was the “Touch-A-Truck” event last year. The 2018 “Touch-A-Truck” event will be held next weekend at the library.


“It is going to be bigger than last year,” Bowen said. “We have revamped it a little bit. It will not be four hours. It will be from 10 a.m. to noon so that we can keep it during the cooler parts of the day.”


There will be a fire truck, ambulance, a police vehicle and a police ATV. Also, a storm chaser will be bringing a vehicle and the Denison Department of Public Works will bring a dump truck and other equipment.


“There will also be activities inside,” Bowen said. “We will have a sensory table set up so that children can touch dirt and trucks. Smaller kids will have things that they can enjoy.”


Bowen said the library has tried to give children interactive events for every weekend of the summer.


“But, there are some exceptions around holidays,” she said. “Just check the website and our calendar for the events that we have moved to Monday or Tuesday because of the holidays.”