More than 200 children’s kites filled the sky in May 2021 as part of the Waupaca Area Public Library’s summer program focused on celebrating and fostering understanding of East Asian cultures.
Made possible by a grant from UW Madison, the program helped the library strengthen its collection of related works, present educational displays – inclusive of Waupaca’s sister city, Mitoyo City, Japan – and give a nod to the region known as the kite capital of the world!
Children’s Librarian Sue Abrahamson brought together the Waupaca Municipal Airport, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 444, and the Wisconsin Kiters Club for a memorable day of kite flying and friendship on the airport’s grounds in mid-May. The event, she says, had a profound effect on the region.
“Bringing everyone together for a display and gathering of this size – which was amazingly celebratory – helped bring us out of the pandemic and solidify our community,” says Abrahamson. “It underscored the positive things that can happen when we work together.”
The Waupaca Area Public Library noted the following within its review of the program:
“Partnering with the Center for East Asian Studies on this grant allowed us to meet many important goals in our strategic plan. We strive to provide inclusive services that are welcoming to all. Educating our patrons on diverse cultures and highlighting the importance of these ethnic groups shows that we invite all to be a part of our community. Collaborations with the University, Wisconsin Kiters, EAA, and our local airport supported our efforts as a community connector and enhanced engagement opportunities with populations that don’t normally visit our library. Coming off the pandemic, we were thrilled to safely host in-person programming and exhibits; this grant allowed us the opportunity to have engagements with patrons on a variety of levels, which increases access to our library and its resources. We generated excitement for upcoming programs at a time when it is critical to have patrons return to our library.”