Tuesday morning the DeKalb County Public Library held its Mystery Reader event at the Fort Payne City Park.

The Mystery Reader event is part of the library summer reading program that kicked off last Thursday.

This week’s Mystery Reader was none other than DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden.

“We were thrilled to have Sheriff Nick Welden to take time from his busy schedule to be our Mystery Reader,” said Library Director Cynthia Hancock.

Sheriff Welden said, “I had a blast yesterday reading to the kids.”

From start to finish, Sheriff Welden displayed animating and nurturing qualities that made it easy for the children to connect with.

“He did an amazing job connecting with the children while reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein,” Hancock said. “He was able to establish the knowledge that a law enforcement official can be a friend.”

Hancock said Sheriff Welden was able to involve the children in the story, showing them that reading is important.

“One of our goals as a department is to foster a good relationship between law enforcement and our kids,” Welden said.

“We want them to grow up not with a fear of law enforcement, but with a trust. We want them to have that trust so if something is wrong or they are in danger, they feel like they can tell us,” Welden said.

While reading The Giving Tree, Welden invited and encouraged the children to read with him on the steps.

Through the course of the event, he would stop and show the children pictures while listening to their take on the story. He shared his own experience climbing trees and engaged with the crowd.

According to DeKalb County Public Library Children’s Librarian Tracy Welden, almost 100 people attended.

She said Welden was a good fit for their program.

For additional information, visit dekalbcountypubliclibrary.wordpress.com.

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