Library Notes: The summer for All Together Now
Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2023
By Wendy Campbell
Rowan Public Library
The Rowan Public Library’s 2023 Summer Program: All Together Now, for library users of all ages, begins next month. Community members are welcome to pick up summer program tabloids at any RPL branch or download a copy from bit.ly/RPLSummer23. This year’s program features unique events, weekly programs, and a variety of ways to keep sharp this summer. The most fundamental way is reading.
Summer reading programs in public libraries were first recorded in the late 1800s to keep school age children reading. Some of the first recorded programs were offered in urban areas for children not needed for farm work, to encourage use of the library and to develop reading habits. Today, RPL continues this tradition because reading over summer break is the greatest predictor of summer reading loss or gain in children.
Beginning May 15, library users may sign up for the summer reading program either online through the ReadSquared App or onsite at their nearest branch. Starting May 25, registered readers can keep track of reading using the online app or using a paper log that they return to the library for prizes and recognition. Reading is its own reward but prizes and/or incentives are also awarded to keep readers of all ages motivated to continue reading until the program closes on July 29 at 11:59 p.m.
Library events and activities, in addition to logging reading hours, celebrate the public library’s mission to promote lifelong learning. This year’s program includes over 40 events and activities at multiple locations and time slots. Many of the events and activities target more than one age group, creating opportunities for multi-generational participation. For children and their families, summer library programs focus on reading and sparking curiosity through educational and entertaining events.
The library will host a weekly Mother Goose on the Loose-inspired baby and toddler storytime along with a Spectacular Storytime for preschoolers and early elementary aged children and their families. School age children and their families may choose to attend the weekly Big Shows complete with different performers each week including the return of performers, Grey Seal Puppets and Dare Devil Dogs. The Big Show series is a long-standing tradition at the Rowan Public Library with participation by families, community members and local camp groups.
People may be unfamiliar with the summer camp and library partnership at RPL. Camps and RPL work together so that campers, ages three through 10 years, visit the library to learn about resources and to browse and read books. Campers visit the library weekly for new books to enjoy at their center and to participate in a library program. Everyone wins in this partnership where camps provide daily reading time at their center and the library provides books and weekly events. Last year, the library served over 700 children through this partnership.
Another new offering this summer is a four-week Books and Babies program at selected sites. The new program specifically targets babies, not yet walking, and their caregivers, although all are welcome. This library program fosters bonding, highlights positive interactions with books, creates opportunities for families to make new friends, and is simply a healthy break from the daily new parent routine. Participants can expect to do knee bouncing rhymes, songs and explore books at each session.
Babies and toddlers have traditionally been served in a combined program. We are piloting this program to meet our community’s needs as evidenced by the growing participation numbers at the combined program and a growing birth rate for Rowan County.
Infants through adults are welcome to participate in reading and activities at Rowan Public Library this summer. For more information about the summer programs, visit the nearest branch of Rowan Public Library or call 980-432-8670.
Wendy Campbell is youth services supervisor at the Rowan Public Library.