With in-person programming and visits put on hold because of COVID-19, public libraries across the state had to quickly shift gears for their summer reading programs. Despite limited time to prepare, Indiana libraries have created robust virtual programs that allow their communities to engage with reading, learning and each other. As a part of Summer Reading with Indiana Humanities, we want to highlight amazing some excellent summer reading programs that are happening in libraries across the state. Below are some of the a few unique and creative things that Indiana libraries are doing in their communities.
As a part of their its Summer Reading program, the Noble County Public Library is providing free “Wish Kits” to families that include bookmarks, writing and activity prompts, small toys and the book, Straw Into Gold: Fairy Tales Re–spun by Hilary McKay. Each week, families read a different fairy tale from the book and access discussion questions from the library’s Facebook page. Families also have the option to participate in digital Family Read discussions on Zoom.
In addition to tracking books read and offering prizes and drawings, the Tipton County Public Library has offered online Scavenger Hunts on Facebook, take-and-make craft bags and a Digital Escape Room. The Escape Room, for children 8+, focuses on the Labors of Hercules and teaches participants about Greek mythology while aligning with the Summer Reading Program theme “Imagine Your Story.” Check out the escape room here.
West Lafayette Public Library – Facebook
The West Lafayette Public Library has Summer Reading programs for children, teens and adults. While the children and teens are enjoying reading, assembling crafts and attending virtual programs, the adults are enjoying some friendly competition as each adult that registers is assigned to a team. The adults earn points for their team by reading, writing book reviews, attending programming or visiting community sponsors. At the end of the summer, the winning team will receive prizes. Check out some of the reviews of Summer Reading participants on the West Lafayette Public Library Facebook page.
Wakarusa Public Library Summer Reading participants can take part in a weekly Online Lego Club. Each Monday a challenge is posted to Facebook, and participants have four days to complete the challenge. At the end of the week, all submissions to the challenge are posted to Facebook. In addition to the Lego Club, the library hosts virtual book and movie clubs for adults and has offered prizes for reading throughout the summer.
Harrison County Public Library – Facebook
In Harrison County, the public library is helping patrons track their summer reading on the virtual platform “Beanstack.” The library is hosting all of their its programming and opportunities for kids on a Brain Boosters Resources page. Resources include Story Time videos, Professor Steve STEM videos, online craft tutorials and links to other learning resources.
The Clinton Public Library is hosting a live virtual program weekly for kids, teens and adults, while also using the Beanstack app to allow program participants to track their reading throughout the summer. The library has also offered virtual story time throughout the summer via its YouTube page. Check out it out for access to weekly picture book readings.
To learn more about Summer Reading with Indiana Humanities, read our announcement and follow along at #INSummerReads on social media.
Indiana Humanities events intern Connie Brahm wrote this blog post. Connie is a graduate student at Indiana University and will earn her Masters of Arts Administration from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in December 2020.