The Shelby Township Library is inviting the community to come out to its “Park it Behind the Library” events to relax and enjoy the summer.

The Shelby Township Library is inviting the community to come out to its “Park it Behind the Library” events to relax and enjoy the summer.

Photo provided by Brad Bates

Shelby invites patrons to ‘Park it Behind the Library’ for summer events

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 9, 2021


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After a long year of many changes, things are finally returning to normal, and with the slow return, the Shelby Township Library is inviting the community to come out to its Park it Behind the Library events to relax and enjoy the summer.

As part of the library’s summer reading program, which has a theme of “Reading Colors Your World,” the library is inviting patrons to programs that will be held behind the library at Senior Citizen Park, 51720 Van Dyke Ave.

“Everything is creeping back to the way it was before the pandemic, and these programs provide a great way for our community to gather and enjoy our summer in a responsible manner,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said in a press release.

“Summer in Shelby Township is not the same without our families gathering at the Shelby Township Library and enjoying the services provided by our amazing staff. My hat goes off to Library Director Katie Ester and her staff for putting this together,” he stated.

The events will begin with the Rock and Roll Summer Kickoff concert at 1:30 p.m. June 12 in Senior Citizen Park. The township is recommending that families bring blankets to enjoy an interactive family concert featuring songs about animals.

The library has more than 20 events scheduled from June 12 to Aug. 4. The Park it Behind the Library full schedule can be found on the summer reading program website at

Patrons can park in the library parking lot and meet the staff at the event tent for programs that include story times, concerts and more.

However, attendees should check the calendar and events at ahead of time to make sure an event has not been canceled.

For those who would prefer to do activities at home, the library still offers some grab-and-go items and virtual programs at

Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Sunderhaus said the library is glad to be able to invite families back to enjoy the summer programs after such a long time.

“Summer reading is one of our favorite times at the library; we love seeing all the kids and families at the weekly events, hearing about all the books they’re reading and awarding the grand prizes. We’re excited to see library users we haven’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic. This summer is one step closer to normal, but whatever your comfort level is, we have something for you at the library this summer,” Sunderhaus stated in a press release.

In addition to the “Park it Behind the Library” events, the summer reading program features interactive reading logs through the library’s Beanstack app. Between June 12 and July 31, patrons can track reading and activities at to earn prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes.

In order to participate, those interested must sign up through or download the free Beanstack app. Starting June 12 and continuing while supplies last, patrons can pick up a free tracking log journal at the library.

Sunderhaus said that residents can sign up at home with their library card or ask a librarian for help.     

“The librarians can answer questions about getting set up or logging reading times,” she said.

Ester, said that the summer reading program is something that all the librarians look forward to, and they enjoy getting to see residents working on and completing the program for a prize.

“Our librarians prepare all year for our summer reading program. They spend hours arranging the programs, learning the sign-up and logging software, scheduling extra staff to help manage the crowds, managing the crowds at our programs, and giving out prizes. It’s great fun for all of our staff to see our residents every summer and watch our littlest residents grow into great readers. This kind of outreach to our community fulfills our greatest mission: to encourage reading as a lifetime habit,” she said via email.