WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–This summer, the West Liberty Public Library looks forward to bringing readers of all ages together to enjoy reading and many other creative activities. Through their Reading Colors Your World summer reading program, they hope to cultivate a love of reading in people young and old and to provide fun artistic and social outlets following a year of social distancing.
From the beginning of June through July 31, the library will enroll interested patrons in one of several programs tailored to their age group. Kids and teens will receive bingo boards with different reading related activities on them. As kids complete a series of activities, they will have the opportunities to earn fun prizes. For adults ages 16 and up, completing reading log bookmarks will earn them entries into a grand prize drawing for new art supplies and $100 in Chamber Bucks to spend at participating stores throughout West Liberty and surrounding cities. Both adults and children may sign up to participate in summer reading either by coming into the library in person or by visiting the library’s website.
Along with incentives to read, the West Liberty Public Library’s summer reading program will also have fun activities for participants as well as some take and make kits to do at home for those who would feel more comfortable doing so. Kids will get the chance to get crafty by making hedgehogs out of old books and put their science and engineering skills to the test with pendulum painting. Teens will learn how to weave paracord bracelets, make candles in the microwave, and create unique pieces of thrift art. Adults can get in on the fun as well with take and make projects, such as book spine bookmarks and in-person gatherings, such as plant swap.
To continue mitigating the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the West Liberty Public Library has made some changes to how their programs will run this year. For in-person programs taking place inside the library, interested participants can drop in any time during a three hour time window instead of all coming at one set start time. Additionally, story times for children will take place outdoors on the library lawn. For all events regardless of location, library staff encourage people to continue wearing masks and social distancing to help keep all of their patrons safe.
As summer reading gets underway, Youth Librarian Lily Smith, who first came to the library in 2020, looks forward to getting to interact with local kids for the first time in a long time and to offering them a summer reading experience they will not soon forget. “I am just so excited to see them again,” Smith beamed. Smith also hopes that everyone who tries out the library’s programs this summer, whether avid or reluctant readers, will come away with a greater appreciation for reading and that they will have gotten to stretch their creative thinking a little bit too.