Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Get Prizes for Something You're Already Doing!

After helping a patron locate a book she wanted, I asked if she’d like to sign up for Summer Reading for adults. “Oh, no! I’m too busy!” Other patrons have answered the same question with “Isn’t that just for children?” or “What books do I have to read?” I hope to clear up what Summer Reading is all about and why everybody should sign up at their local library!

Summer Reading encourages everyone to read. Babies can be signed up and have books read to them. Toddlers can read picture books. Older children can read chapter books. Teens and adults can choose anything they like to read (e-books and audiobooks count for everyone, too). Libraries want families to read, to be aware of all the materials and programs at their local libraries, and to become part of the library community.

That’s why librarians plan programs to entertain and inform patrons of all ages. For younger
readers there are goals to be met to qualify for prizes, and the more books they read, the more prizes they can win. For older readers, every book read increases their chances of winning a prize incentive. The books don’t have to be any specific title and they don’t even have to be library books—it can be anything you like. So, if you read at all, you should sign up for Summer Reading and put your name in the hat to win prizes for what you're already doing.

There are also programs, and most libraries offer door prizes for adult or teen attendees. The programs are all related to different themes so we don’t just offer the same things over and over. This year’s Adult Summer Reading theme is Escape the Ordinary and programs offered explore ways of escaping your routines. Teen Summer Reading’s theme is Unmask and, along with the children’s Every Hero Has a Story theme, the programs involve superheroes. You’ll have fun and learn something that you didn’t know before, meet new people, and find out what’s going on in your neighborhood. Best of all, these programs are FREE!

There’s lots going on all year round at your local library, so when you’re looking for something fun to do or you need to know the right answer to a question, or you’re bored or the kids need a change of scenery and you really don’t want to spend any money, check out your library. Every item checked out (including downloadables) strengthens your local library. Our collections are kind of like muscles—the more they’re used, the stronger they become—so please give them lots of exercise by taking some items home with you!

Although Summer Reading started in June and is well under way, some locations are still having programs through July. Take a look at Birmingham Public Library's list of activities on Birmingham365 to see what's scheduled through the summer and beyond. And children and teen participants in the summer reading program may continue reading and logging their books to win prizes through August 5. For the adult summer reading participants, keep reading as many books as you can because on August 7 and 14, grand prize winners will be drawn from all the summer reading entries. For more information on Summer Reading for all ages, visit our website and Birmingham Public Library's Adult Summer Reading's Facebook page.

Kelly Laney
Springville Road Regional Branch Library

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