Summertime and the reading is easy

Libraries bring back summer reading for all ages

By: Brendan Losinski, Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 7, 2017

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The end of the school year doesn’t mean all of the books get slammed shut until fall.

Summer is prime storytime for growing readers and book fans of all ages. Baldwin Public Library, the Franklin Public Library and the Bloomfield Township Public Library know there’s nothing better than enjoying a good book on a beach blanket or inside to pass the time during a summer thunderstorm.

To help promote summer reading, each library has its own packed schedule of programs and activities to get residents away from screens and into a great book — of course, e-readers are acceptable too.

According to Carol Mueller, director of the BTPL, the programs are always very popular.

“Thousands of families participate each summer in our individual programs,” she said. “For the summer reading incentive-based program, (around) 1,000 children participate.”

The three libraries will all take part in the statewide “Build a Better World” theme for the summer reading program. Theresa Natzke, director of the FPL, said participants will read books based on that theme and will keep track of the hours they read. The more they read, the more prizes they’ll be eligible for. Things will wrap up in August with celebrations at each library.

“If you want to prevent that summer slide and keep your kids up to date with school, you can do it by encouraging them to read over the summer. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and we give away a lot of prizes to people, and I just love being able to do that,” said Natzke.

The aim is to keep kids’ reading skills engaged over the summer so they don’t fall into the dreaded “summer slump,” according to Rebekah Craft, associate director of BPL.

“Children who read during summer break are less likely to lose literacy skills that are essential for success in school,” she explained. “Also, students who love to read for fun often do better in school than kids who don’t.”

On June 16, BPL will host a summer reading kickoff event 1-4 p.m. with crafts, games and other activities. The kickoff event will be held for the BTPL at 6:30 p.m. June 19, and the FPL kickoff will take place 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 19.

Not to be outdone, teens and adults can get in on the action with their own programs. At the BTPL, older participants can pick up a reading challenge game card at the adult services desk.

“Having a teen and adult summer reading program allows an entire family to engage in reading and to participate in library programs,” Mueller explained. “There’s something for everyone. Adults can also set the example for a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of reading by participating in our summer reading program.”

There are a variety of community and reading incentive events at each library throughout the summer. For more information, visit BTPL.org, franklin.lib.mi.us or baldwinlib.org.

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