Summer Reading @ your library


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Tuesday was a banner day for San Antonio - and not just because the Spurs were rolling through the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Mayor Julian Castro officially kicked off the San Antonio Public Library's Summer Reading Program at the Children's Department at the Central Library.

Every child who takes part in the program receives something special - a book to keep and a completion certificate signed by the mayor.

As the mayor noted, “Learning shouldn’t stop when the school year ends. It’s a year-round process that begins and ends with a child’s ability to read.

“The Summer Reading Program is an easy and fun way for parents to keep their children engaged in the world of books.”

Libraries like San Antonio recognize the role that summer reading plays in reinforcing literacy.

And San Antonio promotes summer reading online, and, for the first year, makes things even easier with electronic signup, including smartphones and other mobile devices.

"Our electronic sign-up allows participants to create their own pages, on which they keep track of the books they read or listen to," said Beth Graham, the library's public relations manager.

Participants can even write reviews of books they have read, and, if they choose, have them published to a website.

Also, teens will be able to link their pages to their Facebook accounts so if they write about a book they have read or a library program they have attended it will also be published on their Facebook page.

According to the American Library Association, the benefits of summer reading programs include:

  • Encouraging reading as a lifelong habit
  • Drawing in reluctant readers
  • Helping children keep up their skills
  • Generating interest in the library and books

Summer reading programs are being offered by libraries throughout the country, many of them creatively themed.

In the Three Rivers Public Library District in Channahon, Ill, summer reading has a culinary flavor, with the theme, Reading is So Delicious.

At Saturday's kickoff event, attendees will have the chance to enjoy carnival-style games, food and even an exhibition by a BMX bike spinning champion.

“We are really excited about this year’s program,” said Lisa Berger, youth services librarian said in an article in the Morris Daily Herald. “There are so many ways that we can serve up recreation for the kids, while making reading fun. Each year our summer program grows and we are happy to provide an environment where our communities can be entertained and educated at the same time.”

The summer reading program will conclude with Food Wars for all ages, an Edible Book Contest, a blind taste test of pizza from local eateries, pudding eating contests and a Library Market, where prizes can be bought with book bucks earned throughout the summer reading program, according to the article.

Many individual or state libraries use the themes set by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries. For more information on those programs, visit the Collaborative Summer Library Program website.

And for more information about summer reading programs in your community, visit your local library.


Photo credit: Girl Reading by  o5com.


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