Each summer, the Boyle County Public Library offers the community an exciting Summer Reading Program, complete with reading prizes, fun activities, and special events. This year, the program took place in person at the library and in offsite locations while continuing to use the Beanstack website and app to track reading progress.
Through Beanstack, attendees could win virtual badges, free books, and raffle tickets for prize pools. Each participant who completed the reading challenge had the chance to win one of the prize packs, which included art packs, board games, LEGO sets, toddler toys, a tools, Shaker Village family passes, a packet of coffee, a drone, and a giant stuffed penguin. The Beanstack app encouraged families to participate together and provided an easy way to log reading progress and enter to win prizes.
The return to an entirely in-person sThe summer program was a welcome change after two years of uncertainty. The theme for the summer was “Oceans of Possibilities,” and the program surpassed reading attendance and giveaways from the previous year, making it the most successful summer reading program the library has ever had. never organized. Over 930 people used Beanstack this summer for the program. Of those who signed up, 618 active readers took up the library’s reading challenge. This year, the reading challenge for all ages was to read for 10 days. Collectively, the number of reading days over the summer was 26,930, which set a new record for reading by participants. A new record was also set for the number of prize books given out, meaning that participants were able to add more new books to their homes.
In total, the library offered 1,936 new books to readers of all ages during the program this summer.
The summer reading program began with a kick-off event in early June that included an evening of fun and games, food trucks and live music. That day, hundreds of people stopped by to pick up a Book Buddy plush, play the inflatables, meet and take pictures with fairytale princesses, and sign up for a library card.
Over the summer, the library hosted 100 events, including Silly Safari, Sound Explorers, Tember’s Tales, Kentucky Shakespeare, a petting zoo, yoga classes for children, STEM and craft activities, magic shows and live animal events. Weekly story hours were held for young patrons, and story hour videos with ASL interpretation were posted on the library’s YouTube channel.
Evening and weekend events were held at the library, and special performances were held weekly at the Jennie Rogers Community Center (JRCC) in Danville. JRCC’s largest venue has allowed more people to attend library-sponsored events than ever before. In addition, ASL interpretation was offered at all Thursday morning events at the JRCC. Many families shared with library staff that having so many days and times to choose from allowed them to participate in the programs and the reading challenge.
“One of the goals of the summer was access, and we got that in spades thanks to the partnership with Jennie Rogers,” said deputy library director Colleen Hall. Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation provided free use of the facility for library events. “So many more people had access to it because of this space. There were daycare and summer camp groups, including the Kentucky School for the Deaf, many of whom were only able to participate this year because we had the space to invite them,” Hall said.
Hall believes that this exposure led to further overall participation in the program as a whole. “Having the Bookmobile there every week was also a huge contributing factor, giving the children easy access to Sweet Reads, which was used very well. One boy told us after the Shakespeare program that it was his first time seeing a live play and he really enjoyed it. It captures the essence of why we do this work,” Hall said.
Over the summer, the library’s outreach team took the bookmobile to various events in the community, including Thursday FunDays at the JRCC. Outreach, 978 people visited the Bookmobile in June and July and 1,091 books were checked out from Sweet Reads, a collection that allows patrons to borrow materials without a library card. With the expanded borrowing options available through this collection, many new patrons were able to use the bookmobile and participate in summer reading.
New to the summer lineup this year was the family-friendly outdoor movie series that included pre-show games and food vendors. The Heart of Danville provided the giant outdoor movie screen that made the series possible. This weekly event brought new people to the library, which was another goal of the summer program.
“We are so grateful to Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation and the Heart of Danville for supporting two major additions to the summer reading program,” said library manager Georgia de Araujo. “From Parks & Rec, being able to hold our Thursday morning special events at the Jennie Rogers Community Center meant hundreds more people could attend. From Heart of Danville, the use of the huge outdoor movie screen really made Starlight Movie Night a reality.
A major donation from the Corning Incorporated Foundation enabled the library to provide prize books for the greater than onecompletion rate of the reading challenge scheduled for this summer. On many occasions, librarians have had to reorganize price books to keep pace with demand.
The Summer Reading Program is the library’s largest series of multigenerational programs of the year. Library staff are very grateful to Friends of the Library (FOTL) who are major financial contributors to the Summer Reading Program and have helped transform the program platurn dreams into reality. The library would like to thank all of its program sponsors, including Friends of the Library, Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation, Heart of Danville, and Corning Incorporated Foundation. The library would also like to thank Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Dry Stack Coffee Co., and The Hub Coffee House & Café for their generous support and contributions to the awards.
Special thanks go to Deb Cullen, President of FOTL, and Jennifer Schroeder, Director of Public Services, BCPL, for their combined efforts in coordinating the FOTL volunteers who spent countless hours assisting library staff with major events throughout the summer. “Summer reading is a team sport and none of this would have been possible without the hard work of all the staff. A big thank you to everyone for making it happen,” Hall said.
De Araujo echoed Hall’s sentiments. “All library staff played a role in 2022, our most successful summer reading program yet. The coordination needed to handle 100 events in 60 days while maintaining regular library functions can only happen when everyone cares and steps in where needed,” de Araujo said.
She added that the level of family participation in this year’s summer reading program was impressive. “It was not something limited to children. Families participated together all summer. One of the most important things a parent can do for their scmiddle-aged child is to model reading as something fun and an enjoyable pastime,” de Araujo said.
The library is accessible year-round and is committed to providing free, high-quality programs, materials, and services to the community. Library staff will continue to promote literacy through visits to schools and daycares, public bookmobile stops, and participation in community events. Now that summer is over and the school year has begun, librarians are gearing up for library card month in September and are planning fall programs and activities for patrons. from the library.
Information about library resources and all upcoming events is available online at BoylePubLib.org. The library is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9.30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chat with library staff using the live chat service on the library’s website or by texting (859)-545-8398.
The Boyle County Public Library serves the town of Danville and surrounding communities and is actively committed to enriching the lives of its patrons. The library is located at 307 W. Broadway in Danville.