DATE: July 28, 2008
Summer Reading Comes Alive!
Libraries across the Commonwealth are celebrating summer reading with Wild Reads! at Your Library.
At Rockport Public Library students were treated to WolfTalk with wolf expert Michael LeBlanc. Over two hundred people of all ages turned out to see two-year old wolf, Denahee, and a three-month old wolf cub. Participants learned about the wolves’ diet, habitat, breeding, hunting, the hierarchy of the pack.
But Rockport’s summer reading program isn’t just for kids. The library is offering Beach Reads for Grownups in which adults can use online reading logs to track reading (with a prize for the person who reads the most) and online ballots to vote for their favorite summer read.
The library is also hosting a “Meet the Author” series that includes Robin Wright and Andre Dubus III.
Woburn Public Library kicked off summer reading with a petting zoo and a picnic. As youngsters and their parents petted the geese, goats, bunnies, and more they learned about each animal. “We’ve had over 370 sign-ups (for summer reading) in just the first few days. That’s a new record for us,” said Woburn Children’s Librarian Cynthia Fordham.
Parents are pleased that their children are learning while they’re having fun. “My daughter has been participating in summer reading since she was a toddler,” stated Burlington Mom, Alicia Vaudo. “When she was in kindergarten, she was reading at a first grade level.”
In Boston’s South End neighborhood, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Red Sox Mascot Wally helped get summer reading started with Read Your Way to Fenway. Boston children who read 3 or more books can enter a drawing to win tickets to a Boston Red Sox game. The Red Sox Foundation has made 1,600 tickets available for kids who keep reading over the summer.
East Longmeadow Public Library is using summer reading to teach young people valuable lessons about safety. Included in their summer reading events is a Tae Kwon Do demonstration about how to talk to strangers and how to handle a bully.
Sutton Free Public Library is taking participants on “journeys” with trips to exciting new places each week. Children’s Librarian, Carol Geary, has seen children’s circulation double over the past year and is pleased with the number of young people engaging in summer reading.
In addition to activities for young readers, Springfield City Library has many summer programs for teens including T-shirt painting, writing workshops, strategy games, anime, and art classes. As one of the many special events just for teens, author/illustrator of the manga My Cat Loki, Bettina Kurkoski, will share some drawing tips, talk about how she got published and provide feedback on the teens’drawings.
Over 300 hundred libraries across the state are offering summer reading programs. Online sign-up and more information is available at www.mass.gov/libraries.
Helping to promote this year’s summer reading program, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners teamed with Buyer Advertising in Newton and used input from the six Massachusetts Regional Library Systems Youth consultants to create an online summer reading campaign that included banner advertising on newspaper websites across the Commonwealth. The campaign also included radio ads and customized elements to meet a library’s specific needs. In addition, the MBLC statewide consumer website www.mass.gov/libraries hosts summer reading information and has been successful in steering people to their local summer reading programs.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.