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Summer reading program comes online

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 9, 2020


GROSSE POINTE WOODS/PARK/FARMS — Now is the time to “imagine your story.”

On June 1, the Grosse Pointe Public Library, or GPPL, began taking registration for its annual summer reading program. The program runs until Aug. 14. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story,” and everyone is encouraged to participate.

There are three library branches. The Central Branch is located at 10 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe Farms. The Ewald Branch is located at 15175 E. Jefferson Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park. The Woods Branch is located at 20680 Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Open to children, teenagers and adults, the summer reading program is a chance for residents to keep up on their reading during the summer months.

“The summer reading program is a way to help develop a lifetime love of reading. Your literacy skills set you up for success in life,” said Catherine Ricard, a youth librarian at the Central Branch. “It helps (students) maintain that balance over summer. For adults, it’s a great opportunity for them to model good reading habits. Families can read together. We really encourage that.”

Residents will have the opportunity to win prizes based on how much they read and how many activities they complete.

“Folks can sign up any time until Aug. 14. The earlier you sign up and log your reading, the better your chances for prizes,” Ricard said.

Those prizes include Lego kits, AirPods and iPads. Adults can check out the “summer reading bingo card” that contains various challenges and a chance to win gift cards to local restaurants.

The summer reading program always includes in-person library programs and activities with outside entertainers and guests. However, because the libraries have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, this year’s programs will be online only. Some will be available for a one-time-only viewing, while others will be available for several days.

“We’re going to have a good time this summer,” Ricard promised. “We’re trying to adapt as much as we can. A lot of our programs will be live using Zoom. We’ll be together, just in a different way.”

The programs include “Summer STEM with Cathy Foster of TechKnowKids” June 8-14, any time of the day; Tween Art — Comic Sketching at 6:30 p.m. June 22; and “Imagine your Story Magic Show with Magician Jeff Wawrzaszek” at 10:30 a.m., July 10. To view a schedule of the virtual programs, visit

As of June 4, 172 people had signed up for the summer reading program, but many more are expected, as it usually draws 1,200 to 1,400 participants every year. Anyone can sign up for the summer reading program. A GPPL library card is not required.

Because of the libraries being closed, GPPL Director Jessica Keyser said some of the library funds were diverted “to beef up our ebook collection.” Now that the governor has lifted some of the stay-at-home orders, the library will begin opening in phases.

“We have a reopening plan. We put it on our website,” Keyser said. “It calls for reopening in phases. We won’t be letting people in the building right away, and then we’ll gradually reintroduce service.”

The first phase is curbside, which started June 10 and will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. All library materials can be returned to the outside book drops at all three branches. There are also drive-up book drops at the Grosse Pointe Park and Grosse Pointe Shores municipal parking lots. Because of COVID-19, all reading materials that are returned will be held in quarantine for 72 hours before going back into circulation, Keyser said.

Residents can place holds on the items they want online. When those items are available, they will get a notice to come to their branch to pick up the items curbside. To put items on hold, customers also can call the library reference hotline from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at (313) 389-6212. Residents can call the library to place something on hold or through the online catalog.

To sign up for the summer reading program, visit