By Chris Bavender
The Carmel Clay Public Library’s summer reading program is scheduled to begin June 1 and run through July 31. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities.
“A few years ago we adopted the theme of the Collaborative Summer Library Program. For us, the theme is discovering what the library has to offer, from e-resources to programs to books,” said Jennifer Humphrey, Assistant Director of Youth Services at CCPL. “We’ll be promoting ocean-themed materials this summer, of course, but as our collections and programs show, we’re passionate about all kinds of subjects here.”
The library has offered a summer reading program for over 50 years.
“It has long been a staple of library programming and community engagement,” Humphrey said.
For the second summer, the library is partnering with the Humane Society of Hamilton County.
“We have long wanted to avoid handing out cheap, meaningless trinkets to children. Alfie Kohn’s ‘Punished by Rewards’ asserts that these types of awards do not increase children’s intrinsic motivation to read, and our goal is to help children discover the joy of reading,” Humphrey said. “This partnership with HSHC allows us to purchase necessary supplies for the Humane Society. It always gives kids a tangible reward, and it’s also a way for them to give back to their community.
Readers of all ages are encouraged to register.
“We get a great mix of ages participating. COVID has certainly had an impact on the number of people participating, but as things are getting back to ‘normal’, so are our numbers,” Humphrey said. “Last year, 1,222 children, 403 teens and 668 adults have signed up. We would love to see even more families and adults participating this summer.
Children who complete the program will earn two free books.
“As a library, we love books, and what better reward for reading than something new to read? Children who own books and have a home library are more likely to read than those who don’t,” Humphrey said. “We want to foster a love of reading for pleasure as well as lifelong learning. To this end, we will have the choice between all kinds of children’s books: graphic novels, books with chapters, information books, hardback books, books for beginners and picture books. When we visit schools and tell students they can win two free books, they are amazed that the books belong to them.
The youngest are invited to read or listen to 72 picture books/beginning readers. Or, children can read or listen to books for six hours.
“It’s a struggle to find a middle ground that can be complemented by the broad age and ability ranges we serve,” Humphrey said. “We’d rather more children not complete the program successfully.”
For more information, visit carmelclaylibrary.org.