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Library's summer reading program returns in June


Last updated 4/10/2021 at 9:54pm

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Havre-Hill County Library’s summer reading program will return, continuing a tradition of at least 35 years.

As is to be expected, things will just look a little different this time around.

Children’s Librarian Ashley Verity said this year’s animal-themed program, called “Tails and Tales,” runs from June 9 through July 30. The program’s yearly theme comes from the Collaborative Summer Library Program which gives libraries access to cost-effective program resources.

Verity said restrictions such as social distancing and masks are still in place at the library. She added that library staff are “playing it by ear.” At this time, no in-person programming is available in the library. Patrons can now browse book stacks, however. The library is still limited to a 10-patron limit. A half hour time limit is also in place.

“A lot of our regulars have been very excited when they walk through the door and they see that we have taken the yellow tape down,” Verity said. “We have our new releases back in the main part of the library, as opposed to being on a cart, but we are still sanitizing surfaces to the best of our ability.”

Children taking part in the summer reading program range from less than a year old to age 17. Children up to age 3 have a reading goal of 300 minutes. Those between ages 4 to 6 must amass 400 minutes, ages 7 to 9 have a goal of 600, ages 10 to 12 have a goal of 800 minutes and patrons between 13 and 17 are to complete 1,000 minutes of reading. 

Top readers in each category will win a prize. The top three overall readers will win a SHARKraft. Adults will also be eligible to win a SHARKraft. Patrons earn a raffle ticket for every 100 minutes read.

Raffle prizes include a 60-piece farm puzzle, a Cute Monsters Memory game, Ready Set Sloth, Eric Carle’s Surprise Slides, Monster Flush, and Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It.

Based on program information, if one person reads to another the reading minutes will count for both. Both library materials and non-library materials will count toward reading goals. July 28 is the final day to submit reading minutes.

People wishing to participate can submit minutes by sending an email to [email protected], calling staff or through a form on the library’s Facebook page. When calling, people are asked to be sure to include the reader’s name, total minutes and which number prize they want their entry in. 

For extra credit, children can turn in I Spy posters, summer reading bingo, and book reviews to a librarian for additional raffles. 

Other activities this spring and summer will include a Nature Fest on Wednesday, June 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Storytime in the Park every Wednesday from June 16 through July 28 beginning at 11 a.m., and a stuffed animal “Pick-Nick” Friday, July 30. These activities will all be at Pepin Park.

“Last summer, I wasn’t able to have any in person programming at all. Everything was virtual. Sign-ups were definitely lower last year. So it was kind of difficult not having the kids around, but I made it through,” Verity said.

Verity added that since she has been in charge, the summer reading program has had roughly a 75 percent success rate of getting young patrons to achieve their reading goals.


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