The summer reading program is without a doubt my favorite time of the year! I like to do fun programs, encourage children and teens to read for fun, and work to connect people with books they like.
This summer was still different from usual; the building was open, but we weren’t able to have the extensive in-person programs that are common with summer reading. However, we were still able to do a lot of fun things!
The Roseburg Public Library had 13 weeks of summer reading with 13 different elementary craft kits, seven different teen craft kits, and six Spanish story time craft kits available to patrons. We gave out around 1,000 craft bags at the library!
We ran four craft programs and an in-person story hour at the Stewart Park Lodge, courtesy of the City of Roseburg Parks and Recreation Department. We also ran a tie-dye program outside the library.
Hope to be able to do more events in person next year!
We encourage children to read what interests them and to maintain their reading skills over the summer. The children were given reading journals to keep track of the time they read. The five, ten and eight hour read earned attendees a free book and trinkets. We have awarded more than 300 books in prizes!
Eighty-one children and 20 teens completed their 8-hour reading diaries, a 20% increase in attendance for each group from last year. We are happy with the increase and hope to have even more summer readers next year.
A fun part of the summer reading program is winning prizes. Big special prizes were drawn among book reviews. Eighty-three young people submitted 920 book reviews! That’s an incredible response and more than double the number of book reviews we received last year.
We’re thrilled that so many kids are interested in what they read and are ready to write a review to share their thoughts.
We also had the opportunity to increase community awareness this summer through a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. We bought a minivan and hired some extra help, which allowed us to visit more Roseburg School District Lunchbox Express locations and distribute reading journals, prizes, and crafts.
We followed the bus weekly and visited Winchester, Sunnyslope and Jo Lane Middle Primary Schools. We distributed nearly 500 craft kits and reading journals every week we went to these schools. Thank you to the teachers and staff for helping us reach more children and young people and for encouraging them to read.
The final summer reading element is the StoryWalk® which was held at six different parks around Roseburg. We received great support from the community who told us how excited their children were to walk and read, and financial support from the Douglas County Cultural Coalition, Friends of Roseburg Public Library, Altrusa of Roseburg and Steve and Kathy Hart made the project possible.
We have shared five stories with the community and a sixth is in the works. The program will continue on Saturdays through September from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Stewart Park near the YMCA.
We’re taking a break from youth services programming in September, but we’ll be back with online story time and craft kits twice a month in October.
Aurora Ropp is the Youth Services Librarian at the Roseburg Public Library. She can be contacted at [email protected] or 541-492-7054.