The school year is ending, but no more school doesn’t have to mean no more books.
It’s Summer Reading time at Timberland Regional libraries, with reading and activity programs for kids of all ages. The theme for the summer is magic, whimsy and play.
There’s no required book list, but the library staff is ready to help readers find great summer books that suit. In addition, library schedules are packed with performances, contests and hands-on activities.
“When they sign up, they get an activity log to do at home,” said Ellen Duffy, youth services coordinator. “On the back is a list of great reads; there’s no set list of books.”
Each library has a summer-long calendar of events, which begin June 15 and run through the middle of August.
As if reading and participating in activities aren’t enough incentive, participants will get coupons to local businesses, the Thurston County Fair, Hands On Children’s Museum, or Northwest Trek.
Families and kids can just show up for most activities, but registration is encouraged for “Fanaticon” for teens, held from 7-10 p.m. July 10 at the Tumwater library this year. Staff needs an estimated headcount to plan for food and supplies.
Fanaticon includes cosplay, a parade and other activities.
“It’s like walking into a place where people are speaking a different language, but they’re all hooked on books. It’s like a geek night,” Duffy said.
Last year, 16,416 children registered for the summer reading program, and there were a total of 55,849 participants — including children who went to more than one event — in all aspects of the program, including events, library, school visits and summer outreach events, according to a Timberland summary of the 2014 program.