A View From the Stacks: Get Ready For Summer Fun at the Library

Column by ANGIE MANFREDI
Head of Youth Services, Mesa PUblic Library

On Thursday, I’ll stomp and roar like a dinosaur. On Monday I will travel through time with a very MagicTree House. On Friday, I’ll paint and create masterpieces. Another Monday will find me practicing my Lego ninja skills, while another Thursday I’ll be learning about life in New York City in 1914. All of that is barely scratching the surface of what my summer is going to be like.

This is just a sample of some of the fun the Los Alamos County Libraries have planned for the children and teens of our community. That’s right, I get to have all this fun because summer reading is about to begin!

Summer Reading at the Public Library means one thing. We throw out the requirements of what children and teens have to read and spend eight weeks celebrating the joy and benefits of reading for pleasure. To support this effort, we create dozens of programs for all ages to foster a love of literacy and make the library a place where children and teens feel welcome and engaged.

Los Alamos County Library System’s summer reading program encompasses both the wide range of programs we present for children and teens and also a specific reading program that encourages children and teens to read for pleasure and a chance to earn weekly incentives.

We measure time spent reading. That way, everyone can read at their own level and everything counts. There are no lists and requirements. Summer reading is a time to read for pleasure.

Our goal is to make reading an activity children and teens approach not with dread but anticipation and one of the key ways we achieve this isn’t through the incentives (though a chance to win a book and a free sticker, pencil, or bookmark every week doesn’t hurt) but through downplaying the requirements of reading.

Another way we foster literacy is through our slate of programs. All of June and July are packed with programs for all ages.

This year our programs include Lego Ninjago event. If you’re not sure what that word means, ask an eight-year-old and you’ll be treated to the whole explanation. We’re also hosting our annual favorite American Girl program.

We are hosting a weekly film club for teenagers and have a weekly hangout for middle school students. There are hands-on chances for children to create with our Lego Building Club and our Make a Mess art program.

We also have weekly evening programs for whole families to attend. You can learn about animals, see dances of India, and even play Life-Sized Candyland.

One new program we’re especially excited about this summer is a story time for four to six- year-olds called Ready, Set, Read. It’s specifically designed to build early literacy skills.

Are you exhausted yet? Don’t be, the fun is just starting! Summer is the perfect chance for you and the children and teens in your life to take advantage of all the Library has to offer. It’s more than you can imagine and more fun than you’ll believe!

We start registration for the summer reading program (tracking reading time) on Tuesday, May 28. Come into Mesa Public Library or the White Rock Branch Library, pick up a reading log and start reading immediately! Our programs begin at 6 p.m. Monday, June 3 with a special evening performance by Clan Tynker at Mesa Public Library.

Our summer schedule for children and teens is posted now on our website, so take a look  at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library and start planning. You can also like us on Facebook for updates about all our summer reading shenanigans at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Alamos-County-Library-System/407149149379936.

A summer isn’t complete without the Library, so make sure you include us in all your adventures. We can’t wait to see everyone and have two months of fun. I’d say more, but I’ve got to start working on my elephant dance moves.

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