MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Since the summer of 2008, Dewey, a fluffy stuffed bookworm type of critter, has been hiding in the Youth Services area of Mahopac Public Library for children to search for. When they find him, they earn a special “I Found Dewey” sticker. He’s only around in the summer, and since it looks like the Youth Services area may not be welcoming patrons this summer, library assistants Gail Perillo and Cindy Green thought it would be a great idea to let Dewey visit various businesses in town instead.
Many of them have been closed due to the pandemic, so they came up with a way to support them and bring in some foot traffic.
“We know a lot of businesses have been closed, and we wanted to support them in some way,” Green said. “Dewey will be hanging out for a week at 11 or 12 businesses. Some are not even quite open yet, and we wanted to try and increase foot traffic for these family-owned local businesses.”
Kids will be able to spot Dewey at the various businesses from June 19, the date of the Library’s Summer Reading Program Kick-Off, until sometime soon after Labor Day (exact date is still to be determined). Dewey will remain at each locale for one week, beginning on the 19th, when a photo of Dewey at the location will be posted on the Library’s Facebook page, which can be accessed from the home page of the Library’s website, www.mahopaclibrary.org (you do not need to have a Facebook account to see the photo). Young patrons can then visit the business to get their “I Found Dewey” sticker, or wait until Wednesday when a second photo containing a clue will be posted on the Library’s Instagram account. While Dewey will only be at each location for a week, the stores will continue to hand out stickers while supplies last.
In addition to the traditional Dewey sticker that the Library has been handing out for years, children will also receive a smaller sticker designating the store that Dewey visited. Beginning at the Kick-Off, children can pick up a local map where they can place these special store stickers to keep track of all of Dewey’s travels.
At the end of the summer, the children can return to the Library and show staff members their sticker-filled maps. Each child returning a map will receive a coupon for a free ice cream from one of two local shops, courtesy of the Friends of Mahopac Public Library. All of this information, as well as reading logs for our Summer Reading Program, will be available for pick-up in the Library’s adult garden beginning Monday, June 19.
Green said the hunt for Dewey is also a good way to keep people engaged in the library during the pandemic.
“We are always trying to get people interested in the library,” she said. “We want to get out and be seen. This is another way to do that. Even when we are not open great things are happening.”
For more information, contact Perillo, head of teen volunteers, at 845-628-2009, ext. 136, or Green at 845-628-2009, ext. 153.
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