BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Summer is here and it is time to crack open a good book.
The Toledo Lucas County Public Library system kicked off its annual summer reading club on June 1. The program encourages individuals of any age to pick up a book and read. In addition, by keeping track of hours read, participants can win prizes.
In 2019, the Maumee Branch Library registered 1,600 participants and led the system in the number of readers signed up for the program.
“We’re asking people to read for 30 days. It can be the same book or different books,” said children’s librarian Rachel Stewart.
In fact, it does not even have to be a library book. If someone has given you a book or you bought a book, you can still take part in the reading challenge, she said.
“It can be an audio book, it can be a book someone reads to you, it can be a magazine or a graphic novel – it can be anything,” she said.
As the library lifts some pandemic restrictions, several restrictions remain in place. The Volunteen and adult volunteer programs are suspended, which means reading club members will have to track their own hours. Previously, Volunteens took care of that for patrons. Also, instead of receiving a series of small prizes, children will receive a book after completing 30-days of reading and adults will receive a mug.
In addition, all participants are entered into a drawing for grand prizes, including a Nintendo Switch Lite, Kindle Paperwhite, $25.00 Amazon gift card, Circuit Explore Air 2 and much more.
“When you log your books and take part in online challenges, your name is entered to win a prize – so the more you do, the more chances you get to have your name in the drawing for grand prizes,” Stewart said.
Those who participated last summer by logging hours online should be able to access their account the same way this summer, she added.
“It’s much more streamlined this year,” she said.
Reading club yard signs are free and available to anyone who would like one. In addition, the library has outdoor games that children may use for free, including outdoor bowling, outdoor tic-tac-toe, ring toss and sidewalk chalk. There are also free, age-appropriate activity packets for children to help enhance literacy skills over the summer.
Indoor programing such as story time and special programs for kids are also suspended for now.
The reading club program runs through Saturday, August 7. For more information or to sign up for the reading club, visit https://www.toledolibrary.org/summerread.
The Maumee Branch Library will host the following outdoor concerts this summer:
Brown Bag Concert on the Lawn will take place on Thursday, July 8 at 12:15 p.m.
Music by the River featuring the Maumee Community Band will take place on Tuesday, July 13 and Tuesday, August 24 at 6:30 p.m.