Read like a rock star this summer

  • Athol Public Library has something to offer everyone this summer. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/10/2018 11:19:41 PM

ATHOL — Athol Public Library encourages the community, from children to adults, to read like a rock star throughout the summer, and this year the Collaborative Summer Library Program has created materials from events to artwork to fit the theme “Libraries Rock!”

“Having a theme encourages people to read outside of what they might have picked up — it expands what they think they might be interested in,” said APL Assistant Director Robin Shtulman.

CSLP is a group of states coming together to support quality summer reading materials for children, teenagers and adults.

The Athol Public Library’s summer reading programs for children, teens and adults started at the end of June. It runs through Aug. 17. Children’s Librarian Angela Dumas said it is important for children to continue reading throughout the summer to prevent the “summer slide.”

“If kids don’t keep up on reading, they’ll go back to school and lose the skills they worked hard to maintain during the previous school year,” she said.

So far, about 187 people signed up for the children’s summer reading program, said Dumas, with about 89 of those individuals signing up on the first day. Each week, there will be new prizes for kids — from books to beach toys — who read a certain number of books. Though the library has a suggested reading list approved by the Athol-Royalston School District for younger children, Dumas encourages kids to read any book that interests them.

Emily Boughton, library technician in the young adult section, said reading enables teenagers to explore new worlds from the comfort of a couch. This summer, she said, she is encouraging teenagers to participate in the summer reading program to earn prizes three different ways — first, by checking out a book from the young adult space, then by writing a book review, and, finally, by attending any of the library teen programs throughout the summer. By participating in these activities, teens earn a ticket that allows them to collect a prize, from candy to T-shirts. So far, about 30 teenagers have participated to win prizes, said Boughton.

To find that perfect summer read, the library invites teenagers to the Teen Book Café today at 3:30 p.m. to check out the young adult book selections, all while being served snacks.

At the top of the stairs in the library, summer reading participants can see an array of music-themed books to dive into.

“There are a lot of books with music as the theme — mysteries, romances, everything,” said Shtulman.

Shtulman said the adult summer reading program was started about seven years ago and allows older residents to partake in the fun, win prizes along the way and build a local community of readers. Last year, adult summer reading participants interested in winning prizes read more than 500 books, she said.

“We do it for adults, because adults love to participate in things and have a good time and get prizes, too. We really want to encourage adults to keep up that fun habit of reading,” she said.

Adults can participate in activities from listening to a CD or writing a short book review to watching a musical to win a ticket for a large drawing of prizes at summer’s end. For every book read, said Shtulman, adults can also win a homemade scratch ticket that allows everyone to win a small prize. The ticket also encourages individuals to write the name of the book they read, along with a rating. At the end of the summer, the library sets up a display of all the books the community enjoyed reading. To close out this summer’s reading programs, the library will celebrate its 100th birthday by hosting a celebration in the park.

All library programs are free and open to the public, said Shtulman.

Also at APL

Every week through Aug. 17, the Athol Public Library will also host special summer programs.

Today, July 11

10:15 to 11 a.m.: Preschool Story Time. Preschool age children, caregivers, and siblings can drop in to hear stories, sing, move, and craft. No registration necessary.

1 to 2 p.m.: Acrobat Li Liu. Liu will demonstrate hand balancing, plate spinning, trick cycling, foot juggling, ribbon dancing, and more! This event will take place at Memorial Hall at the Athol Town Hall. All ages are welcome, and due to a high level of interest, please call the library to register. This program is supported by a grant from the Athol Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Thursday, July 12

1 to 2 p.m.: Hot Wheels STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Challenge. Children, ages 8-12 years old, can register to learn about energy, forces, and motion. Participants will work to build the fastest speedway possible while interpreting data and experimenting with variables. Science educator Paul McNiff will run the program. This program is funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

11 to 11:30 a.m.: Baby and Toddler Time. Caregivers and children, from birth – 36 months old, are welcome to stop in for stories, movement, music, and play. Please register by calling the Children’s Library at 978-249-9515.

Stop in the Children’s Library or visit it online at: to view the Summer Reading flyer.

“Libraries Rock!” is sponsored by Athol Public Library, the MA Library System, the Boston Bruins, MA Board of Library Commissioners and the Friends of the Athol Public Library. All Summer Reading programs are free and open to the public.

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