by Melanie Kozlowski and Chase Chauffe, Children’s Librarians

Melanie Kozlowski and Chase Chauffe

Summer days are in our sights. Days of sunshine and afternoon breezes and opened windows. Time to enjoy our patios and decks, as nature flourishes around us. Summer is here, inspiring us with its wonders.

Summertime and reading are a perfect pairing. There’s a book calling for you, whether on the printed page or downloaded to your device, whether read in peaceful solitude, or read aloud in shared time with family or friends.

For the next ten weeks, the Library is spotlighting the joys and benefits of reading. May 22 is the kickoff to the annual Summer Reading Program, with the theme “Imagine Your Story”. And it’s for all ages: adults, teens, kids, and even babies and toddlers. We’re never too young or too old for stories.

Besides the natural allure of books, the Reading Program sweetens the deal with great prizes available for everyone—we call ‘em ‘reading incentives’. Just like last year, you can enjoy the ease and convenience of logging your reading time online, 24/7, wherever you are.

Reading is especially important for kids on summer break. That’s why we’ve been working with our partners at the schools to get the word out about this year’s program. Studies have documented that kids who read for enjoyment avoid the “summer slide”. In other words, they return to school in the fall ready to learn.

Younger kids can enjoy prizes like a build-your-own creature for Lego-lovers, shiny plush dragons and of course, free books to build your home libraries. Teens ages 11 to 18 who complete 20 reading hours can take home a 3-Year Q&A Journal and be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Bundle. Adults can earn a 5-Year Q&A Journal plus gift certificates that include Cliffhanger Used Books.

There’s also the excitement of being part of a community challenge. Last summer, we reached a lofty goal: the Estes Valley logged 238,900 total reading minutes (the distance to the Moon in miles). Can we top last year’s numbers? By tracking our reading time—that includes reading this newspaper—we just might reach new heights (and new stories!).

Though the Library building is closed, the great collection of books and audiobooks (yes—listening to audiobooks counts for reading time too!) is just a click away. Hundreds of patrons have been using the convenient new curbside pick-up option. Give us a call to get on board.

Not sure what to read? We’ve got you covered: this summer we’ll be launching a new service, the Personalized Book Bundle. Tell us what interests you, and we’ll assemble a small package of read-a-likes, ready for curbside pick-up, just for you.

Curbside pick-up will also be the “vehicle” to get those great prizes into your hands. We’re looking forward to many happy “to-go orders” this summer.

A big thank you to the Library Friends & Foundation and donors for their sponsorship of the 2020 Summer Reading Program.

Register today, and let reading be a part of your summertime joy.