Arizona Tales of Summer Reading
Informal and creative learning provided through summer library programs are more important than ever. They provide families the opportunity to stay engaged in learning even when schools are closed for summer. From curbside checkout, take and make kits, summer meals, virtual programs and events, libraries have risen to the challenge to meet a variety of situations. In addition, libraries provide library services in a variety of formats including virtual, in-person, and hybrid programs. Libraries continue to respond with creative and innovative strategies as they plan the 2021 Tails and Tales summer programs to meet the needs of their community. Here are a few examples:
Apache County Library District – Connecting with Community
As a way to reach out to patrons during the Covid 19 epidemic, the Apache County Library District began to look for ways to use social media to provide meaningful contact with the communities they serve. They began by providing instruction on how and why to use Overdrive and the District webpage, along with showcasing what materials were available to patrons during this time. Although the use of the libraries was limited, access to electronic services remained a great option for library card holders.
Fueled by the substantial increase in followers and feed-back from the community, the discussion soon arose as to how to provide programming through social media, as well. The resulting features created for this purpose were, “Poetry and Poets with SueAn Stradling-Collins,” and “Pages from Apache County History with Dolly Patterson.” As the District featured less information on electronic services and more on programs, “Saturday Sagas,” featuring Jaymie Lewis-Smith, where Lewis-Smith serialized Charlotte’s Web each Saturday, was created. Additionally, Mondays offer brief biographies and images of the work of historic artists who portrayed Apache County in their art. On Tuesdays, District staff are featured, allowing the public to get to know those who work for the library district, becoming one of the most popular features yet.
As this project progresses, the concept will change and grow as needs change, but the use of social media to connect with patrons is here to stay. Staff member, Alice Webb, manager of this program states, “Although the libraries are back to our pre-pandemic hours, we can see that the use of social media for outreach remains valid and effective as a means of staying in touch with our communities.”
Make sure to check out the Apache County Library District’s Facebook page for inspiration and ideas.
Chino Valley Public Library – Tailwaggin’ Tales of Summer Reading
The Chino Valley Public Library has taken this summer’s theme of “Tails and Tales” to a whole new level. With animal trivia, Scarlet Macaws, reading to Pet Partners, Wildman Phil and a grand finale with fun outdoor games and dog demonstrations from the local Canine Club, the summer is bound to engage the community in reading and learning all summer long.
As part of the State Library’s CARES Act Calling opportunity, the Chino Valley Public Library set-up a dial-a-story with stories in English and Spanish. Community callers can also choose to listen to a story or dial the animal trivia challenge line. If they can come to the library with the correct answer to the animal trivia question, they can earn a prize. The trivia loosely follows the types of climates in the world (rainforest, arctic, savannah, forest, farm, ocean, tundra…). Rebecca Laurence, Children and Youth Librarian at the Chino Valley Public Library also adds a Spanish vocabulary tip to help callers learn the Spanish word for a different animal each week.
The Chino Valley Library has scheduled tales of history and conservation of the beautiful & vibrant Scarlet Parrot and a wildlife safari with Wildman Phil, animal magic with Cowgirl Jan, and Juggling with James Reid.
Another fun event will be the Pet Partners, who will educate participants on the difference between service and therapy animals as the children meet 2 friendly therapy dogs: Megan, an Irish Setter, and Bailey, a Standard Poodle. These two cute canines bring lots of tail-waggin’ fun to libraries in the area. Children gain reading confidence as they read to the dogs, who are such good listeners. Sponsored By: Pet Partners https://petpartnersofprescott.weebly.com/
The residents of Chino Valley are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in so many great events and programs that encourages summer fun and learning.
For a full listing of upcoming events go to: www.chinoaz.net/216/childrens-library
Cochise County Library District – Eating and Reading Local
Cochise County Library District includes Bowie, Elfrida, Portal, Sunizona and Sunsites Libraries. The countywide, IMLS funded project, Eat Local and the Big Read featuring Animal, Vegetable, Mineral are running parallel to the summer reading programs, and will wrap up with a couple of outdoor celebrations in July.
Along with having kids track their reading and adopt adorable reading buddies, (inspired by the ones from MCPL Fairway Library) Cochise County Libraries will have a BINGO-style summer reading challenge for teens and adults, with incentives and chances to win some books about Arizona animals and nature.
The grab-and-go activities and giveaway books for kids are sponsored by the Friends of the Cochise County Library District. The take and make kit for teens and adults, is an excellent little painting kit inspired by an activity the Copper Queen Library offered this spring. Participants will be invited to share photos of their creations to create a mini art gallery. It should be fun!
The Sunizona Library, which is located at Ash Creek School, gave children one summer-sized kit with hands-on activities and free books to last them the entire summer, rather than having families pick up activities each week. In addition, the Elfrida Library will partner with a nearby school to offer sack lunches in June and July, and Sunsites is offering an outdoor Concert in the Yard with Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter, David Sharpe.
Summer Adventures are calling with Pima County Public Library’s Storyline!
Grab a phone, dial a number, listen to a story
The Pima County Public Library is bringing back the old ways of storytelling—think back-in-the-day campfire gatherings and radio plays— with Storyline.
Many of the stories come from the Library's Steinheimer Collection, which includes children's books depicting Southwestern history and culture. Listeners will hear "Baby Alfredo's Wild Ride" from A Path to the River/Un Camino al Río, a collection of stories and illustrations by children and neighbors from Barrio Anita.
"The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted many beloved Library programs, including in-person Storytimes. Storyline is a great way to fill this gap while we make our way back to normal. We hope our customers will call frequently and enjoy this new service," says Kendra Davey, Literacy Initiatives Program Manager.
Brought to customers in collaboration with the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, Storyline will take young ones from screen time to worlds that will ignite imaginations.
Storyline... make it a tradition to call and listen! To learn more about PCPL’s Storyline, go to: https://www.library.pima.gov/news/adventures-are-calling-with-storyline/
Prescott Valley Public Library kicks off Summer Reading with a Zoomfari.
The Summer Reading kick off for the Prescott Valley Public Library's Summer Reading will be a virtual ZOO VISIT! They will have the chance to virtually get to know some animals from Zovargo Animal Conservation in San Diego!
The Children's Department has a new llama mascot, but it needs a name. The library is currently hosting a mascot naming contest for their library llama and will host a K-9 Demonstration to learn all the ins and outs of police dogs!
Prescott Valley teens can participate in summer library programs through a series of Fairy Tale Scratch virtual workshops to write fractured fairy tales and then code them in Scratch.
Other virtual programs include YA Booklovers Podcast, Tween Lego Club, Cowgirl Jan, Didgeridoo Down Under and weekly STEAM Club for K-8th graders. In addition, they offer a virtual Dance with Susan (dementia friendly) class to explore dances across the 20th century. The dance workshop is facilitated by a community partner and participants can either be seated or standing during the experience.
For a fun summer reading wrap up, PVPL will host a Summer Parade. Participants can use bikes, wagons, and scooters and do a victory lap to celebrate a successful summer reading.
Winslow Public Library engages the hearts, minds and bodies of the entire community.
Winslow Public Library will be hosting a summer reading Library Clue challenge. Participants will be asked to help solve a very disturbing mystery. They will need to figure out the place, weapon, and culprit.
Was it the local sheriff with the rifle in the library? Or was it the schoolmarm with poison in the saloon? Help the Winslow Public Library solve the murder – and be entered to win a prize!
Participants will pick up a clue card and visit local business to narrow down their suspicions. Families can work together to develop problem-solving skills and the community is strengthened as participants visit local businesses.
“The library wins, businesses win, parents win, and kids win - everybody gets a great benefit from it,” says Brandee Leary, Library Manager at the Winslow Public Library. “We're hoping this will spark more interest in local businesses and encourage people to visit businesses they might not otherwise as community members stay active and engaged.”
Other fun events planned at the Winslow Public Library this summer include Leap into Science Week, pre-k storytime on the library lawn, selfie scavenger hunts, book clubs for all ages and visits from Wildman Phil and Juggler James Reid.
Read 20 minutes every day and track your summer reading online.
To see if your library is participating in an online summer reading program go to www.azsummerreading.org or visit your local library to learn other ways to participate in summer reading.
Readers who are unable to read standard print due to a visual or physical limitation can still participate in Summer Reading. Please contact the Arizona Talking Book Library for more information about books available in audio and Braille formats.
Why Summer Reading?
Summer reading programs are an effective, fun way to combine reading and related activities into summer family time. They also have these reading benefits for kids:
- Reading gets better when you practice it.
- Reading helps improve writing style.
- Children read more when they listen to and discuss stories, so get the entire family involved.
Many Arizona libraries support book discussion groups that celebrate literature and foster a sense of community. Some public libraries provide kits with a set of books and a discussion guide, to be used by book discussion groups.
The Department of Education, The Arizona State Library, First Things First, the nonprofit organization Read On Arizona and MetaMetrics®, joined to promote the Arizona Reading Program for parents, educators and students.
The goal of this collaboration is to reduce summer reading slide for Arizona’s students. This partnership uses the public library’s summer reading program as a springboard to involve educators, students and parents in choosing summer reading materials based on interest and Lexile measures.
The Lexile Framework for Reading provides a common, developmental scale for matching reader ability and text difficulty. Lexile measures enable educators, parents and students to select targeted materials that can improve reading skills and to monitor reading growth across the curriculum, in the library and at home.
Libraries are encouraged to collaborate with local educators by visiting schools and keeping teachers and administrators informed about library programs including summer reading.
Statewide summer reading is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.