Library opens the book on summer reading program June 11

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 9, 2022


ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — As the school year comes to a close, the Rochester Hills Public Library is hoping to keep books open for people of all ages.

The library’s summer reading program kicks off June 11, giving kids, teens and adults a chance to participate in summer reading challenges and activities online for a chance to win prizes. The library is hosting an outdoor summer reading kickoff event 1-3 p.m. June 11 with arts and crafts activity stations, family entertainment, food and more. This year’s summer reading program celebrates kindness and community, so those who attend the event are also encouraged to bring canned goods for a food drive benefiting Neighborhood House.

Following the kickoff, patrons are encouraged to read every day and track their progress online to earn virtual reading badges for the chance to win prizes. Everyone who participates in the library’s summer reading program through Aug. 13 will receive a free book, but there is also a chance to win many other prizes by reading. All forms of reading count — articles, print books, e-books, audiobooks, graphic novels and magazines — and earn people virtual reading badges from the program’s website and app, offered through Beanstack.

One of the biggest goals of the summer reading program, according to library head of youth services Betsy Raczkowski, is to help youth maintain their reading skills.

“Summer reading is an important time of year, not just because we’re doing our part to avoid the summer slide, but because we get to take extra time to champion the idea of reading just for fun. Kids typically have more freedom and choice in what they read this time of year, and studies have shown this is one of the best ways to keep kids interested in reading long term,” she said in a statement.

“We hope that by joining the summer reading program, the summer slide won’t occur, so they will be able to maintain and maybe even build their abilities throughout the summer so they don’t go back to school in the fall having lost some of that,” said Mary Davis, the head of outreach services.

Library Director Juliane Morian said reading and lifelong learning are priorities at the library.

“Libraries support learners and readers of all ages and continually strive to help patrons find joy and discovery through reading. RHPL’s summer reading challenge is the best way to find all of the resources and activities the library offers,” Morian said in a statement.

While reading this summer, patrons are also encouraged to think of ways to help spread kindness across the community. For every helpful activity they complete — and there are several suggested activities listed at — readers may earn virtual activity badges. When five out of 10 activities are completed, readers will earn a raffle ticket for a chance to win additional prizes.

“Some of the challenges are being kind to the environment by picking up litter — safely, of course; maybe donating pet supplies to local animal shelters; donating to Rochester Area Neighborhood House; helping elderly neighbors, anything like that,” said Davis. “We are trying to focus on kindness to neighbors, to family, to animals and to the environment.”

Registration for the summer reading program kicks off June 1. With an active RHPL card, patrons may continue using an existing account at or register for the first time online. A mobile app is also available from the Apple or Google Play app stores. Parents of participating children can register themselves first and then add readers to their accounts to keep track of all readers in one spot.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located at 500 Olde Towne Road in downtown Rochester. For more information, call (248) 656-2900, visit or email