All Youth Services Librarians will tell you that the Summer Reading Program is our big holiday season. It is both exciting and exhausting, and we look forward to it all year long. In fact, we have been working on preparing for this year’s program since the fall. We hired amazing performers, created booklets filled with activities for children to do, and selected grand prizes to celebrate top readers. We couldn’t wait to start promoting this year’s Summer Reading Program theme, “Imagine Your Story”…and then came COVID-19. This pandemic has changed everything, and our summer reading program is no exception.
As the world started shutting down, we realized that this summer was not going to be like any summer before it. We might not be able to do everything that we planned when and how we planned to do it. What to do? I am happy to report that the Neuse Regional Library’s Summer Reading Program is still going to happen, but it might look a little different than it has in the past. With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus and the restrictions of how many people can gather and where, we are reducing the number of in-person programs that we are able to offer, and we are moving our performers outdoors to locations such as Pearson Park in Kinston. More details about in-person programs will be forthcoming.
Registration for the Summer Reading Program is going to begin on June 1. When you register your child for the program they will receive a Summer Reading Booklet with a reading log and activities that they can complete at home, their camp, or the Library. When they turn in completed activity cards and reading logs they will earn small prizes and will be entered into drawings for one of our grand prizes!
Every child is challenged to read for at least 10 hours this summer. Their reading log encourages them to meet this goal by having them mark unicorns representing time segments. For every 15 minutes they read they can mark off one unicorn on their log. When they mark off 4 unicorns they will complete a block and will have read for one hour. When they do that nine more times they will have read 10 hours! They will receive 10 tickets when they turn in their log and will be entered into a raffle for an amazing prize pack. They can continuing reading to earn more tickets.
In addition to their reading log, children and teens have challenge cards to complete. These include fun activities like making your own comic, building a castle, writing an autobiography, drawing a dragon and more! Each completed activity card will earn them a small prize and a ticket in the prize pack drawing. Prize packs include: The Potion Prize Pack, The Adventure Prize Pack, The Royal Prize Pack, and the Fantasy STEM pack. Prizes vary by location
One of our special activity cards is called “Together We Read.” For this challenge we have picked three books for you and your family to choose from to read together this summer. You can choose “The BFG,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” or “Wish.” These books come with Discussion Questions and STEM activities to do together. Those that complete and return this card to the library will be entered into a drawing for a special “Together We Read” Family Prize Pack.
We are so grateful to our library patrons and for the overwhelming support from our community. This might not be the summer that we originally imagined but you can still count on your library to bring fun, educational, meaningful, and inspiring programs. We hope that you will join us for an incredible summer. Remember, registration for the Summer Reading Program will begin on June 1. Please call the Children’s Department at 252-527-7066, ext. 133 for more information.
This week we are also expanding curbside services at the Library. Materials can be placed on hold through the library’s catalog available at www.neuselibrary.org or by phone. Curbside pickup will be available 12-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Comfort Public Library, 1-6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10-1 p.m. at all other Jones County Public Libraries, and 10-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10-1 p.m. Friday at all other libraries. We will also be providing basic copying, scanning, and faxing as well as printing emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Computer access is also available by appointment; call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134 for more information.