A brightly colored paper chain of pink, blue, yellow and orange slowly snaked its way down Delaware Ave., making several passers-by wonder what was going on.
The paper chain already began what it was intended to do.
It made a visual impact.
"We wanted to show the facts to our senators and statesmen in Harrisburg how important our libraries are in a visual way, not just numbers on a sheet of paper," says Diane Danielson, Palmerton Area Library director.
Link by link, book by book, they succeeded.
The library came up with this kaleidoscope of color to show how many books its patrons read during the summer. Each patron was asked to fill out a colored slip of paper with their name and the name of the book they read with their phone number. Then it was added to the paper chain that festooned the balcony in the library.
Danielson says that its estimated the chain included about 2,200 links, which is only about 25 percent of the actual number of books checked out during the summer. That number is more like 8,000 books.
On Aug. 31, the chain was removed from the library and winners were randomly picked to win two prizes in five categories.
The winners are: Kindergarten-First grade, Belle Kistler and Elizabeth Sterner; Grades 2-3, Austin Sheckler, Sydnie Christman; Grades 4-6, Katrina Morell, Cassidy Beltzner; Grades 7-12, Natalie Savage, Jordan Ruzicka; Adult, 18 and older, Kay Goodhile, Evie Plechavy.
Each first place winner won a $25 gift certificate from the Palmerton Area Council-Carbon County Chamber of Commerce and second place winners won prizes ranging from MP3 players, electronic programmer, flashdrives, books and DVDs.
"The children really enjoyed doing this because they wanted to see how long they could make the chain," says library bookkeeper, Mariann Kmetz.
How long was it?
With the help of library patrons, the chain extended from the end of the Delaware Ave. block in front of the library, 402 to 438 Delaware Ave. It was estimated to be about 300 feet long.
"When we took the chain down, the library seemed empty, kind of like when you take the Christmas decorations down. I guess we'll have to come up with something else to brighten it up again," says Danielson, who was very pleased with the participation of the library's patrons.