Think summer reading programs are just for kids?
The staff at the Marlborough Public Library would love a chance to prove you wrong.
This summer, the library will offer reading programs in three age groups--children, teens and, for the first time, adults. All three programs kick off on June 25.
“Our overall goal is to keep everybody connected to the library over the summer,” said library Director Margaret Cardello. “We want people to think of us as a resource that’s always here, especially during this time of year.”
The three programs share an underlying theme--night--and all offer prizes that range from games and books to gift cards and electronics.
To get adults involved, the library is offering drawings for 12 gift cards--every book read earns an entry--from places such as Amazon, Dunkin Donuts and local restaurants. And at the end of the summer, two Kindle Touch e-readers will be given away to adult participants.
To expose adults to books they might otherwise have missed, the library is hosting a book swap on June 19 from 6:30 to 7:30. Librarians will bring multiple ready-for-checkout copies of books they recommend. “It’s going to be a wide range of books,” said library assistant Allie Brooks-Juengel. “The idea is to expose people to things they haven’t read before.”
The library will also entice teens with prizes. Teens can earn entry in weekly drawings for gift cards to stores such as Newbury Comics and Game Stop by completing activities, from reading a graphic novel to volunteering at the library, taking a photo of themselves reading or writing a book review. A separate weekly drawing will award prizes to teens who "like" the library's teen page on Facebook.
Teen librarian Jess Bacon said the library has had a sporadic teen summer program in the past, but hopes to exceed past participation. She said support from the Friends of the Marlborough Public Library helps make possible the incentives and prizes, as well as arts and crafts programs, including a no-sew blanket-making program designed to benefit children in local foster families.
The children’s program has long been the most well-established and reguarly draws as many as 300 participants, said Necia Blundy, children’s librarian. “We had 425 one year and I’d love to reach that number again,” she said.
This year's children's program centers around the theme "Dream Big, Read" and kids can earn either a raffle ticket--or a prize from the grab box--for every five hours of reading they complete. The program kicks off with a pajarma party and will include a visit from Animal Adventures and its nocturnal creatures on July 9.
Cardello said the staff has been eager to come up with new ways to engage patrons of all ages.
And, she said the fact that the library is giving away e-book readers--it also offers lending of e-books--shows it is embracing even the technology that some people say could render brick-and-mortar libraries obsolete.
"We are always looking to update our catalog and stay current," Cardello said. The library is not just about books and the fact that we're embracing this technology emphasizes that point."