Utica Public Library seeing lots of participation in summer reading program

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published June 27, 2023

 Children meet a snake at the Utica Public Library during the Reptarium’s presentation June 14. The visit was part of the library’s summer reading program.

Children meet a snake at the Utica Public Library during the Reptarium’s presentation June 14. The visit was part of the library’s summer reading program.

Photo provided by Katherine Francis


UTICA —The Utica Public Library is hosting its summer reading program, and readers have the chance to earn prizes for reading between June 12 and July 22.

Children not yet a year old through those in the second grade will earn a prize for every six books read, and children in grades three and up will earn a prize for every 100 minutes of reading. To get a prize, fill out reading logs and visit the library. Participants will also fill out tickets to be entered into the weekly and grand prize drawings.

There are also bingo activity sheets that can be completed for a prize, and participants can attend free events throughout the summer to earn tickets for grand prizes.

Participants will return reading records and activity sheets weekly to the library to get a stamp June 12 to July 22. When readers get enough stamps, they can get prizes.

However, readers must be enrolled in the summer reading program to be eligible for awards and prizes.

The final party to celebrate the conclusion of the summer reading program will take place 1-2 p.m. July 22. The party will feature Bubbleman Ron putting on “an amazing bubble show,” according to the library’s website. Pizza will be provided at the party. The library requires registration to participate in the celebration, which has limited seating. Registration will begin July 10 in person at the library or by phone at (586) 731-4141.

Sarah Leonard, the new children’s librarian at the Utica Public Library, said via email that the library has had an amazing turnout so far.

“Anyone with a library card can register for the Summer Reading Program and can register up till the end,” she said. “Also, anyone can attend the events even if not a registered summer reader. Many of the programs require registration and fill up fast. Some of the fun programs coming up are Squirt Gun Painting (July 11), TechKnow Stories and STEM (July 6), and Dan the Creature Man is coming with his Little Creatures (July 12).

“For more information on our Summer Reading Program, anyone can check out our website, Facebook page and of course call the library. (They) can sign up anytime and would just miss certain events and have fewer entry tickets for the grand prize drawings. The more they read and attend programs, the more chances to win prizes,” she said.

Katherine Francis, library director, said Leonard has planned an exciting summer reading program with many fun events.

“We have had record attendance so far with registered readers signing up and with the activities filling up, so registration is required for most of our events. I’m really happy to see so many new families along with our familiar ones enjoying themselves in our newly renovated library. Sarah is a great addition to our staff and comes with years of teaching experience. She has a plethora of knowledge and I can’t wait to see all the fun and educational activities she will plan for our library and the difference that she will make in our community,” Francis said in an email.