There are things that signify the beginning of summer: the last day of school, humidity, lightning bugs, and (best of all!) your library’s Summer Reading Program. Summer Reading is an annual nationwide program that encourages people of all ages to spend their summers reading as much as possible. People register with their library and set reading goals for themselves, then spend the summer tracking their progress and winning prizes. The program runs from Monday, June 3 to Thursday, July 25. This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories” so library events and prizes focus on topics such as outer space and science fiction. Summer Reading is divided into three age groups: children (11 and under), teens (12-18), and adults (19 and older). Registration and prizes are different for each group, so find yours below and get started!
Ages birth-5 years participate in Summer Reading through a caregiver reading to them. Caregivers and kids decide how many books they will read and listen to, tally the books throughout the summer, and stop by the library anytime to transfer their numbers to the library’s records. Children also participate by completing activities and receiving weekly prizes. Starting on June 3, caregivers can register ages birth-5 years at the library’s Youth Services Desk.
Ages 6-12 years can get a head start by signing up here and beginning to track their reading now. Then, beginning on June 3, they can pick up an activity card from the Youth Services Desk. These cards include outer space-themed activities like reading a book about a favorite planet or spending an evening stargazing, as well as general activities such as reading to someone younger, asking a librarian for a book recommendation, or writing a short book review.
Weekly prizes are available when children meet their reading goals and complete activities on their activity cards. Prizes range from stickers and buttons to restaurant gift certificates and free passes for Bays Mountain Planetarium and Adventure Science Center in Nashville.
Summer Reading events for both age groups kick off with Big Bang Boom on Thursday, June 6 at 11 a.m. Find more information about the event here, and find a full listing of children’s summer events here. To learn more about Children’s Summer Reading, call 423-434-4458.
Ages 12-18 can sign up here now and then begin logging books, ebooks, and audiobooks through the online portal on June 3. To log a book, teens will need to include the title, author, and a short review; for each book logged, the reader receives one entry into the weekly prize drawing. Weekly prizes range from space-related items like moon lamps to free passes for Bays Mountain Planetarium and Quantum Leap. Teen participants may also submit READO cards, an activity card in a Bingo format, to be entered into a separate prize drawing at the Summer Reading Block Party on Thursday, July 25. READO cards are available at the second floor Information Desk or can be downloaded here.
Teens who attend Summer Reading events will also receive scratch-off tickets for books, graphic novels, and candy. The first teen event is a book discussion of Nyxia and chat with author Scott Reintgen on Tuesday, June 4 at 6 p.m. Register for the event here, and click here for a full listing of teen summer events. Call 423-434-4349 with questions about Teen Summer Reading.
Ages 19 and older can register here starting on June 3 and then stop by the library’s second floor Information Desk for a free tote bag filled with (inter)stellar goodies! The totes will go to the first 50 adults who stop by the library after registering online. Adults log their books, ebooks, and audiobooks through the online portal and should include the title, author, and a short review. For each book logged, the reader receives one entry into a weekly prize drawing. Weekly prizes include items like space games, constellation mugs, books, t-shirts, and even astronaut ice cream. Any adult who logs books throughout Summer Reading is entered into the grand prize drawing for a telescope at the Summer Reading Block Party on Thursday, July 25!
Adult Summer Reading events start on Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. with the Creative Makerspace for Adults: Stitched Constellations. Register for the event here. Find a full listing of adult events here, and call 423-434-4454 with questions.