The Baldwin library prepares to kick off summer reading

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 23, 2023


BIRMINGHAM — Children, teens and adults are invited to participate in the Baldwin Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge. Participants will be able to join fun virtual programs, crafts and activities while spending the summer enjoying good books.

The Summer Reading Challenge theme of “All Together Now” was chosen by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a national organization.

“We are looking forward to bringing people back together,” Library Director Rebekah Craft said. “I think it is a good post-COVID theme.”

There will be several in-person programs with activities for all ages throughout the summer at the Baldwin Public Library.

“As a rule, I think the library is about community, so I think that it is a great theme that will, hopefully, start encouraging people to get together again,” Associate Director Jaclyn Miller said. “We are going to be doing some really cool things this summer, so we hope that it draws people into the library.”

While the theme was chosen nationally, each library was able to get creative with the graphics they use. This year, the Baldwin Public Library decided to have a retro food theme.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs June 9-Aug. 4. Participants can join at any point, as long as everything is tracked in their account by Aug. 4.

“I think summer is such a good time for reading, so why not pair it with a chance to win prizes?” Craft said.

There will be a Summer Reading Kickoff event Friday, June 9. Crafts, games, an ice cream truck and more will be available 1-4 p.m.

“Each program is designed to set realistic, reasonable and reachable goals for the summer,” Miller said.

The Youth Reading Challenge is for children of all ages, from babies to sixth grade. Children have the opportunity to earn prizes by either logging their reading time or engaging in one of the enriching activities listed in the challenge.

For every hour they read or activity they complete, they will earn a point. Once they get a certain number of points, they can choose a prize book from a special selection.

Pre-readers can participate in the program by having someone read them a story.

Once a student is a teenager, they can join the Teen Reading Challenge for incoming seventh to 12th graders.

Teens have the opportunity to earn prizes based on the time they have spent reading or completing activities. They also have the opportunity to earn points by writing book reviews.

There is an Adult Reading Challenge available where participants will be challenged to meet a reading goal. Participants can also earn points towards a grand prize drawing.

“We just want to get everyone reading and avoid the summer slide with school and make books as a fun hobby accessible to everyone,” Craft said.

The Summer Reading Challenge is sponsored by the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library. While there will be some construction at the library for the summer, Miller said she hopes that this does not discourage anyone from coming in.

“Our staff is working hard to make sure that there is fun stuff that is worth coming for,” Miller said. “We are doing our very best to make sure that the entrance is easily identifiable, and we hope that people are still able to find their way in and enjoy the library as much as they have in past summers.”

To sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and update your progress, visit The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. and can be reached at (248) 647-1700.