As the school year comes to a close, the Mountain View Library is preparing for its Summer Reading Program. This year, for the first time, registration is available online, said Mountain View Librarian Karin Bricker.
Registration opened on Tuesday, June 1, but students can continue to sign up through August 2. The reading program kicks off with a family picnic in Pioneer Park at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 10.
The Library's summer reading programs allow students to set reading goals for the summer and earn prizes. According to Bricker, three programs are offered: "Make a Splash" for students in grades K-5; "Make Waves" for students in sixth grade and up; and "Reading Families" for adults, young readers and pre-readers. Kids can set their reading goals with librarians at the June 10 kick-off event, which will also feature a performance from Latin music group ZunZun.
Last year, the program had 3,785 total participants, including 1,000 parent readers. Despite staffing shortages this year, Bricker says the program continues to grow.
"In a recession, people still read, but they may buy their books used instead of new," Bricker said. "We have experienced an increase in circulation which, along with the number of people who come into the Library, continues to grow."
The Summer Reading Program is made possible through funding by the Friends of the Mountain View Library, which holds quarterly weekend book sales and also has a shop at the library. The Friends supply the prize books and make special programs possible, Bricker said.
Bricker awards hardcover collection of stories or poetry to families, and new paperback books to individual readers when the program concludes in August. Bricker said individual readers also receive a coupon for one used book at a Friends sale and other coupons from local merchants.
The Friends also collects families' used books at the summer kick-off event. Bricker said donated books will either be used by the library or sold at the Friends sales.
The library offers other summer activities for local youth, including drop-in sessions for preschoolers and their families on Tuesday mornings from 10:15-11 a.m., drop-in sessions for children ages five and up on Thursdays from 2:30-3:15 p.m., and crafts programs for teens.
Information about the Summer Reading Program is also available in Spanish. The library has Spanish-speaking staff members to accommodate Spanish-speaking families, and Bricker encourages students to read in any language.
Go to the library's website to sign up.