Summertime is upon us and there's nothing more relaxing than reading a great book in a warm breeze. Under normal conditions, a library patron reads a book, enjoys it and returns it to the library, and then picks out another book. Read, return, repeat. But summertime brings new opportunity, as library patrons can join the Beaufort County library's summer reading program to read books and have a chance to win one of many appealing prizes -- just for reading. It's that simple.
Summer reading kicks off June 7 and continues for six weeks, ending July 18. We have a reading program for every age group, and it's quite easy to participate. Library patrons who can't make it into the branches or who choose to take a digital approach can register online and track their progress through the website.
Our summer reading program consists of four age categories: Little Ones (ages 0-3), Children (ages 4-10), Teens (ages 11-17) and Adults (ages 18 and older). In all youth programs, children and teens set reading goals for themselves and choose what books they plan to read over the course of the program. Adults can read a book of their choice and write a review or complete three library-oriented activities that will provide entry for a variety of prize drawings.
"Fizz, Boom, Read" is the science-themed slogan of the 2014 Collaborative Summer Library Program. In addition to the reading component, our staff has a great lineup of events planned for all ages, such as "Mad Science," "The Science of Drums," "It Really Is Rocket Science!," as well as puppet and balloon shows, a special effects makeup class, "Maker Mondays" (where teens can learn about Arduino boards, 3-D modeling and filmmaking), and other exciting programs for all ages. At the end of the summer reading program, our youth participants can celebrate their reading successes with fun wrap-up parties at the branches.
If you aren't sure what to read, you can ask our experienced staff for recommendations. Our librarians enjoy reading from a multitude of genres. Readers preferring a more inconspicuous approach to book recommendations can take advantage of our "My Next Book" service. Library patrons can just fill out an online questionnaire about their likes and dislikes, and within a week, one of our librarians will return a personalized and detailed list of reading recommendations.
Books for summer reading aren't limited to current fiction or mysteries. Our shelves are filled with engrossing reads including memoirs, magic, true crime, graphic novels, adventures, fantasy, science fiction, urban fiction, romance and true survival. Don't forget there is a digital option too, with our 3M Cloud Library e-book service. We have hundreds of books to choose from that download directly to an Apple or Android device. Users can also transfer the digital books to a variety of e-readers.
Anyone and everyone can participate in our summer reading programs. Those interested should go to their local library to sign up or go online at www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/summer-reading to get started. Library cards are free to Beaufort County residents and property owners. Have a safe and happy summer, Beaufort County.
Traci Cox is the information services coordinator for Beaufort County's library system.