This summer, customers of the Tahlequah Public Library will have the chance to exercise their brains with different reading and reading challenges.
The goal of the summer reading program is to ensure that children have the chance to experience new activities and conjure up new thoughts. Many children spend more time in front of the television than many librarians and educators are comfortable with. Library events give kids and adults an excuse to pick up a book.
Summer reading events begin May 31 and end at the end of June. Programs run three days a week, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
With the exception of May 31, a Tuesday, children’s programming takes place every Monday. Children from 6 to 11 years old are invited to participate in various activities. The library invited artists from the four-state area to perform different acts, including comedy, animals, juggling, puppetry, and fine art. Performances will begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Cherokee Lowe of the Tahlequah Public Library encourages people to come visit when the Tulsa Zoo comes to town.
“They bring three animals that kids can enjoy,” Lowe said. “Some children can’t go to the zoo. This way the zoo comes to you.
Librarians will also remove books that correspond to different activities from the shelves in the hope that children will want to take them home.
“They suffer from the summer slide every year. For three months, their brains sort of melt away when they’re not reading or challenging their brains. Not only do we encourage reading, but we also have these other programs,” Lowe said.
Librarian Michelle Newton is hosting this year’s entertainment. On Tuesdays, the library will host Toddler Tales at 10 a.m. and Reading Rockstars at 11 a.m., where kids can come read a book and do an activity with a librarian.
On Thursdays, the library will host programs for teens, starting at 10 a.m., including a science show from an area museum, a tie-dye painting workshop, and Crystal Bridges, which will offer a program. Kids won’t want to miss Laughing Matters with Jay and Leslie, who put on a comedy show about juggling.
“We’ve had them several times. They juggle and make the kids laugh at the things they do with each other,” Lower said. “With clown noses and bowler hats, they do a good job of storytelling.”
The theme for this year’s summer program is “Ocean of Possibilities”, so many of the concepts this year will have to do with ocean and marine science.
Children and adults are also encouraged to track their readings with the Beanstack app, available on Android and Apple.
“Beanstack is a challenge based on your age. It can range from birth to 109,” Newton said.
Children are encouraged to track the number of minutes they read. They, or an adult, can save their minutes on the app. For every 100 minutes of reading, they can choose a prize at the library.
“It will keep track of what you read and how much you read,” she said.
Beanstack will also remind users of specific challenges. For example, Newton may suggest reading in a park. If users meet the challenge, they can come to the library and receive a prize.
“Reading in the summer is important because it’s a time when you can learn to read better,” said Jesse Garcia, a TPL patron who enjoys reading.