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Youthful delivery to Brodhead library
Times photo: Brenda Steurer Fifth-grader Tori Foecking hands off books to the next person in line Wednesday during the Brodhead Elementary School book pass. Foecking was part of a chain of about 500 students stretching more than a mile, from the old library to the new Brodhead Public Library at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue. The library is scheduled to open Tuesday, March 10. Order photo
BRODHEAD - About 500 Brodhead Elementary School students, most wearing yellow plastic construction hats, spread out for more than a mile from the old public library to the new one Thursday.

They were passing along the last of the books, magazines and videos in celebration of the opening of Brodhead's new public library at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The chain of students started with fifth-graders at the old library and ended with pre- kindergartners at the new library, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, March 10.

Fifth-graders Taylor Bluemel and Cameron Novy stood next to each other near the beginning of the line.

Bluemel said she looked forward to the event, "because it's something different and it's fun, and they'll end up at the new library."

Novy couldn't help reading the titles of all the books and videos as she received them from Bluemel, before handing them off to the next student.

"I thought it'd be cool," she said about the book pass.

Fifth-grade teacher Amy Jarvis was manning the first crosswalk.

"They have been looking forward to this," she said.

Jarvis said students participated in the annual independent reading program this year, which was given the theme of construction in anticipation of the new library opening.

If students reached their reading goals, they received the yellow construction hats.

Fourth- and fifth-graders had to read a total of 100 minutes; younger students had a goal of 60 minutes, to receive a hat.

"The school read hundreds of thousands of minutes as a whole," Jarvis said.

David McGuire, fifth grade, was one of the students who just happened to end up as a book passer in the crosswalk, dashing halfway across to meet another student's handoff.

The book pass was fun, "because we get out of school," he said.

McGuire said his class was missing some of its spelling and English lesson. Did he mind missing his classes?

"Not really," he said with a little smile.

McGuire said he read 500 minutes in the independent reading program this year.

The new library is about 15,000 square feet, almost four times the size of the old library. The new library has two study rooms, an area for local history materials, and a 3,000-square-foot meeting room available to the public whether or not the library is open.