Placer County Library celebrates successful summer reading program

Published on October 24, 2017

For many, the summer of 2017 was a golden experience at the Placer County Library thanks to the “Explore. Discover. Do. Summer @ Your Library!” summer program.

In a presentation at today’s Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting, Rocklin library manager Sophie Bruno shared details from this year’s successful summer reading program and the enthusiastic response from the community.

Recognizing an opportunity to further engage the community, Placer County Director of Library Services Mary George challenged the library staff’s summer reading committee to revitalize the summer reading program.

In response, library staff developed a program that not only inspired children to read, but also created unique Placer County experiences through programs and activities to encourage children to think critically, develop social and literary skills and to try something new.

“I wanted kids and parents to be excited about reading and establish that reading was its own reward,” said Mary George. “We knew were onto something great when we started receiving unsolicited feedback from parents about how much they enjoyed their library experience."

These experiences included STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) activities such as bubble and ultraviolet light experiments, as well as sensory development for babies and toddlers. The program also included performance-based activities from Wild Things, Musical Robot and Mad Science.

The centerpiece of this year’s program was its “Golden Ticket” events, where children who completed an activity log earned a ticket that granted them access to any or all of six secret library events across the county. These events were not advertised to anyone beyond the ticket holders.

Golden Ticket events included a special screening of the movie “Sing!” at the Colfax Theatre in Colfax, glow-in-the-dark art at the Granite Bay library and a dance party at the Rocklin library.

“We built incentives into the Golden Ticket program to encourage participants to travel to different libraries in the county,” said George. “This program created opportunities for people to see new places, meet new people and try new things, which truly united our communities."

Children participating in the program received a reading log, were invited to join programs and activities, and received a book to keep that was carefully selected by staff and community feedback. School-age readers who achieved reading incentives at the library earned a lawn sign to display, pronouncing that they are a ‘library champion’ and ‘Placer County proud.'

“Studies show that children who participate in reading in the summer months continue to improve their skillsets and start their school year much more prepared than their peers who do not stay as engaged during the same period,” Bruno said.