By Chris Bavender
The Carmel Clay Public Library summer reading program is set to kick off June 1 and run through July 31. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities.
“For the past few years, we have adopted the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme. For us, the theme is all about discovering what the library has to offer, from electronic resources to programs to books,” said Jennifer Humphrey, CCPL youth services assistant manager. “We will promote materials with an ocean theme this summer, of course, but as our collections and programs show, we are enthusiastic about all sorts of topics here.”
The library has had a summer reading program for more than 50 years.
“It has long been a staple of library programming and community engagement,” Humphrey said.
For the second summer, the library is partnering with the Humane Society for Hamilton County.
“We have long wanted to get away from handing out cheap, meaningless trinkets to kids. ‘Punished by Rewards’ by Alfie Kohn argues that these kinds of prizes do not increase children’s intrinsic motivation to read, and our goal is to help kids discover the pleasure of reading,”Humphrey said. “This partnership with HSHC allows us to purchase supplies needed by the Humane Society. It still provides kids with a tangible reward, and it is also a way for them to give back to their community.”
Readers of all ages are encouraged to sign up.
“We do get a great mix of ages participating. COVID definitely impacted the number of people participating, but as things are getting back to ‘normal,’ so are our numbers,” Humphrey said. “Last year we had 1,222 kids, 403 teens and 668 adults register. We would love to see even more families and adults participate this summer.”
Children who complete the program will earn two free books.
“As a library, we love books, and what better reward for reading than something new to read? Kids who own books and have a home library are more likely to read than those who don’t,” Humphrey said. “We want to foster a love of reading for enjoyment as well as lifelong learning. To that end, we will have all kinds of books for children to choose from: graphic novels, chapter books, informational books, board books, beginning readers and picture books. When we visit the schools and tell students that they can earn two free books, they are amazed that the books are theirs to keep.”
Younger children are asked to read or listen to 72 picture books/beginning readers. Or, kids can read or listen to books for six hours.
“It is a struggle to find a happy medium that can be completed by the wide age and ability ranges we serve,” Humphrey said. “We’d rather more kids than not successfully complete the program.”
For more information, visit carmelclaylibrary.org.