Summer reading program continues at Lincoln County Public Library
The Lincoln County Library is offering its annual summer reading program in an alternative way.
This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story,” and will last until the end of July.
Pam Whitaker, children and young adults coordinator, says the summer reading program has “been around forever.”
“I remember doing it as a kid and I’m 58,” Whitaker said.
According to Whitaker, statistics have shown that children who don’t read during the summer can experience the “summer slide” and slip back down by one or two grades for their reading level.
“The summer reading (program) is so important,” Whitaker said. “It encourages kids to read during the summer. It just helps with everything.”
The program focuses on school age children. The library coordinates with area schools and gathers reading lists for each grade. The library then gets copies of the books on those lists to have available throughout the summer break.
“School libraries are closed during the summer, so they have to come here or go online,” Whitaker said.
Books can also be read through RbDigital or Hoopla — the library’s digital partnership programs — as long as the patron has a library card. Books can be read or listened to using the applications.
Normally the library has a theme for every two weeks, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, the library is doing one theme a week and the activities are accessed online or through curbside pickup. All in-house activities at the library have been canceled until further notice.
“The kids are given a craft and books on the topic,” Whitaker said. “There’s also a virtual scavenger hunt and virtual story time.”
Virtual story time is posted to the library’s Facebook page and its blog.
“We’re trying to get story time out there,” Whitaker said.
The library has also been giving out supplies to complete fun and age appropriate STEM projects, including how to turn a potato into a battery.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can,” Whitaker said.
Another difference in the summer reading program is that the library will not keep reading logs for the students. Normally after so many books are read, students can receive a prize, but Whitaker has been handing prizes out every two weeks anyway.
“I just want people reading,” Whitaker said. “We’re trying to be fair.”
The library is open for printing and faxing, but these services are only available in the afternoon. Library books can be checked out over the phone or online. This service is available in the mornings.
“It just helps,” Whitaker said. “Everybody loves a good book, it’s a boredom buster. If you’ve got a good book it’s great.”
Whitaker hopes patrons young and old alike find peace and joy through the program despite the changes made.
“The world’s crazy right now,” Whitaker said. “Reading takes you to another place. It lets you take a breath and relax a bit.”
Each week families can call the library at 601-833-5038 to request a reading packet. Patrons should visit https://forms.gle/9BN1zvW4tnzrbW9z5 to register.
Story by Gracie Byrne