The Amherst Public Library, 221 Spring St., may have just reopened to the public, but the library’s summer reading programs have been continuing since June 13.
To accommodate the library’s closure for renovations, staff welcomed guests for the first time in years to the historic 1906 Carnegie Library, now called the DeLloyd Room.
“When we started the program, we were distributing the books curbside,” said Nancy Tomek, youth services manager for the Amherst Public Library. “But then we came up with the idea of opening the doors of the original library and having guests come in through there to pick up their books.
“It was really a novelty to have people coming through the doors because they hadn’t been used for so long.”
Each year, the program sticks to a theme designed to inspire young people’s enthusiasm for reading.
This year’s theme, “Ocean of Stories,” is no different.
The newly renovated upstairs children’s area features aquatic decorations and a festive table attracting youngsters in two programs.
The programs are divided into two groups each with prizes.
Youngsters from infants to fifth graders can expect great prizes including a snack man, a beach bag full of sand toys and four tickets to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, all ocean-themed.
In addition to the grand prizes, youngsters can win smaller prizes for each task completed.
“We always want to get kids interested in reading, so our awards appeal to that,” Tomek said.
For four hours of reading, attendees will receive a summer reading book that can be read as a way to bank hours.
As the kids read, the prizes get more exciting, including a chance to get up to three tickets to the grand prize draw, she said.
The other youth program, for those entering sixth through ninth grade, offers its own great prizes, such as a snack man, four tickets to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and 10 passes for the Oberlin Splashzone.
The Amherst Public Library also offers a summer reading program for adults starting in grade 10.
For adults to win prizes, they must read three books and complete the raffle form.
Prizes include a cooler, a beach bag and four tickets to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
The program will culminate with a large summer funfair from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 20 in the new library space.
At 7:30 p.m., raffle prizes will be drawn, and everyone who joins the June program the day before will have an equal chance of winning.