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20 years of dedication

Beth Lyon-Suhring began reading at the Chuckatuck Library when her daughter was 7 months old.

Twenty years later, her daughter is a junior in college and Lyon-Suhring is still reading at the library every week.

For her long-standing dedication, Chuckatuck Friends of the Library recently honored Lyon-Suhring with an appreciation award.

“I believe strongly in the power of books,” Lyon-Suhring said. “Picture books are some of the earliest experiences young children have with fine art. It’s also a treat for me to be able to continue to read to small children even though mine are all grown now. I love watching the way their minds grow and how they’re able to sit for longer periods of time.”

Lyon-Suhring’s experience in a library began as a children’s librarian.

“I started out as children’s librarian in a former life and stopped to raise my children,” Lyon-Suhring said. “I began reading at the library for my children to be around others and for me to be around other parents. I’ve just always enjoyed story telling.”

But as her children have grown, she has stayed at the library. Now, she reads at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays.

Throughout her years of reading, she has seen young children grow up and even has one of the first children she read to bringing her nieces to reading time.

“It has been great to see it become multi-generational,” Lyon-Suhring said.

Besides the children she read to throughout the years, little has changed.

“Children’s interests are still the same,” Lyon-Suhring said. “The cartoon characters are different than they were 20 years ago, but I do more classic stories that appeal to what kids recognized from their daily lives.”

In addition to short stories, she incorporates songs and games into her reading time, as well.

“Whether we have one child or 50, Miss Beth comes in to read,” said Chinell Saunders, from the library. “She’s so good with the children and a wonderful person. We just felt we needed to honor her for all the work she’s done.”