Summer reading clubs return to local communities

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published June 9, 2021

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MACOMB COUNTY — Local librarians are thinking creatively to design summer reading programs that are safe and fun for readers in 2021.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Liz Drewek, youth services librarian at the St. Clair Shores Public Library, 22500 11 Mile Road. “It’s going to be kind of a hybrid. We are going to be doing in-person programming. It will all be outdoors. If the weather is inclement, we will switch to a Zoom program.”

Drewek said 2020 was a year of replanning and adjusting to the ever-changing circumstances, but they’re excited to get their summer reading club community back together this year.

“They see and meet and become friends with children who they may not see because they go to different schools,” she said. “The engaging part of summer reading club really happens in person. We miss them. It wasn’t the same for us; it wasn’t the same for them.”


Mount Clemens Public Library
Although the Mount Clemens Public Library is in a temporary space at 300 N. Groesbeck while the library is being remodeled, Director Brandon Bowman said they will still have summer reading clubs for youth and adults in 2021.

“We try to keep things pretty open. Our point is just to get people reading,” he said. “We just want to get people involved.”

Most books are housed at the temporary location, he said, and those that aren’t can be made available within 24 hours. The library is also still participating in inter-library loans, so patrons can have access to any item in the Suburban Library Cooperative system.

While there isn’t the space to hold indoor in-person programming, he said they may be able to hold some events outdoors during the summer. Information will be available at mtclib.org.

Summer reading clubs begin June 14 and the grand prize drawing will be held Sept. 7. Registration information will be available on the website as of June 1.

Adults will receive a coffee mug with their registration and will be entered to win gift cards to local businesses. Teens can read to earn points to buy gift cards.

“The more they read, the more they get a chance to buy gift cards,” Bowman said, explaining that they thought teens needed “something a little more motivational.”

“We’re really trying to break the mold of the traditional summer reading club where it seems it’s an extension of school,” he added. “Our new children’s librarian, Joyce Krom, is doing an excellent job.”

Younger children can earn beads by reading, which they can trade or use to make necklaces, bracelets or lanyards. They will also earn a free book with participation.


Harrison Township Public Library
The Harrison Township Public Library will host its Summer Reading Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19 with carryout kits for registrants of the children’s and teen’s reading programs.

“We’re hoping that people will feel comfortable at an outside gathering if we proceed with caution over an extended period of time,” Library Director Melissa Goins said in an email interview.

To fit in with the Tails and Tales theme, there will be an animal-themed photo booth with take-home gifts and a social media contest with additional prizes.

No registration is required for the adult reading program. Instead, adults fill out a form to rate the book they have read to participate, earning a grand prize raffle ticket for every five books. Electronic form submissions are available, as are paper forms. There will also be online summer programs for adults, including crafts, yoga and local authors.

Children will get bingo cards each week for their program at the Harrison Township Library, each with a different animal theme. Activities on the cards will include reading, participating in library programs and completing the animal-focused activities. Children can turn in each completed bingo card for a prize and a chance to win end-of-summer raffle prizes.

There will be weekly children’s programming, including virtual Zoom tours with The Reptarium and Belle Isle Aquarium, as well as online storytimes and video tutorials to learn how to make frozen dog treats and “sharkbite” candy.

The “Book Break at the Beach” storytime at Lake St. Clair Metropark playground pavilion will return 11 a.m. Mondays from June 21-Aug. 16. The June 28 event will be held at Harrison Township Waterfront Park.

More information can be found at htlibrary.org.


St. Clair Shores Public Library
St. Clair Shores youth can participate in Tails and Tales, this year’s Summer Reading Club, which runs June 21 through July 30. Participants can download an activity sheet from scslibrary.org or pick one up at the library. Once participants complete the activity sheet, they can return it as their entry form for prizes. They don’t have to return to the library each week to have a sheet signed, as they would have in the past.

While weekly in-person activities were put on hold for 2020, this summer, younger summer reading club participants can come to Blossom Heath Park on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. for in-person, outdoor stories, songs and rhymes. The weekly event is aimed at infants through early elementary-aged children, although all are welcome.

“We’re taking the traditional structure and splitting it,” Drewek said, explaining that there will be about a half hour of stories and songs and then participants can take supplies to make a weekly craft at home. Those who are unable to attend the Wednesday events can pick bags of crafts up each week outside the library.

Participants can email scsyouth@libcoop.net at the beginning of the season to receive the Zoom link that will be used in the case of inclement weather. They can call the library at (586) 771-9020 or check the library’s Facebook page to see if the weekly activity has been moved to Zoom that week.

“We’re trying to get kids to still keep reading, but we’re trying to keep it as easy and less stressful. Whatever your comfort is, we’re hoping that at least parts of summer reading club will work for every family,” Drewek said.

St. Clair Shores children ages 8-11 can participate in Maker Thursdays at 2 p.m. on the grounds of the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum, located behind the library on 11 Mile Road. Registration is necessary for these programs so that library staff can have enough supplies available for the weekly hands-on activities based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Each child will get their own set of supplies to use while sitting on tarps around the grounds of the museum. Bagged activities will also be available outside of the library for those who cannot attend in person.

There will be two programs for teen readers: Paint, Splatter and Roll, when participants can paint outside at 2 p.m. June 29, and a take-home escape room the week of July 12. Registration will be required for both activities, beginning June 21 and July 1, respectively.

“We’ll have bags of all of the clues, and riddles and hints. We wanted it to be a little more interactive, so families could do it together,” Drewek said.

St. Clair Shores adults with a valid library card can also participate in a six-week summer reading club by filling out a registration form at the circulation desk or at scslibrary.org. Patrons will only need to register once, but participants will be entered in a weekly prize drawing to be held each Monday morning through Aug. 2.

Summer reading clubs in St. Clair Shores are funded by the Friends of the St. Clair Shores Public Library. For more information, visit scslibrary.org.

“We’re really excited to try to take one more step toward normal,” St. Clair Shores’ Drewek said. “We really just miss all of that personal interaction and the chance to really be a part of the community in that way.”

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