Local libraries to rock this summer

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Summer reading program kicks off

With a theme of "Libraries Rock!" and all of the programs planned around that concept, the summer months will rock for those who take part in the Barry-Lawrence County Regional Library District's Summer Reading Program, which officially starts in June.

A variety of programs are available for all ages and interest levels.

"I think it's going to be a fun club this year," said Gina Milburn, district director. "And we like that the theme can be about music or rocks or science. It gives a lot of leeway to do a lot of things. We've got lots of great programs and presenters this year, so I would strongly suggest people come in to see whats available and enjoy some of the programs.

"Sometimes, people don't want to read over the summer, but want to go to the programs, but we want kids to read because we know that helps prevent the summer slump."

The district also did a little tweaking here and there to make the summer reading program even better.

"We simplified the prizes. The children, teens, and tots are getting a prize for reading in June and July, and adults will get one at the end of summer. Kids will end up with two prizes and adults with one. And we'll still have drawings for Kindles. We give out a Kindle to the children, the teen and the adult in each county, so will have drawings for six. This way it's equally split."

With the help of its new marketing director Greg Brown, the district has also simplified materials and registration.

"This year, instead of having several half sheets [of informational material] for all the branches, he combined it into one booklet, so you can see all the programs at each branch, can fill and tear out a registration and give it to the librarian, and have a booklet for the rest of the summer," Brown said. "And, its pretty and colorful."

The booklets are just one example of Brown's helpfulness.

"He's done a lot of good things," Milburn said. "Our Facebook page is growing and he's done lots of videos. And we've had several thousand people view it, and maybe before, just had a few hundred. When we promoted Hoopla on Facebook, a lot saw it and came in to update their cards or pay off a fine so they could use it. So we've seen renewed interest."

Brown also redesigned the district's website.

"I really like our new website," Milburn said. "It's easy to get around."

Children and adults will have a reading log to track the books they've read.

"They don't have to, but some like to do that," Milburn said. "In order to be eligible to win the grand prize [a Kindle], you have to be in good standing and have a library card."

For more information about the summer reading program, rules, and schedule of events at each branch, residents can view the calendar on the district's website at: https://www.blrlibrary.com. Residents may also register online by clicking on the respective summer reading program, then link to download forms.

Last year, the district had over 2,000 programs with over 60,000 attendees.

"The library is for everyone," Milburn said.

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