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Library plans summer fun

There are 36 reasons why every student from kindergarten through sixth grade should visit the library.

Each day for June and July, a total of 36 weekdays, the library will provide free programming to educate, entertain or encourage students to read during the summer months.

“All of it is designed to get kids involved in the library and interested in coming down here,” said Becky Nichols, library director.

Summer programming, called “Summer of Stars,” will begin June 2 with an open house art event from 10 a.m. until noon. Parents and children are invited to come and go from the program as they please.

Throughout the summer, children can also attend events, such as craft making, a magic show, puppet show or petting zoo.

“We’ve got community stars [volunteers] that will be sharing everything from gymnastics to Spanish, bringing in their talent and teaching,” Nichols said.

Nichols asks that parents adhere to the age limits set on certain programs.

“If there are ages, it’s simply because the craft requires a little more dexterity or maturity,” Nichols said.

Programs are on a first come, first serve basis, so Nichols recommends arriving at least 30 minutes prior to pick up a ticket. Parents are requested to remain in the library building while children attend programs.

Each child will also be eligible to enroll in the reading program to record books read during the summer. If a child reads at least 25 books, he or she will be eligible for a prize at the end of the summer.

Students are also encouraged to bring reading lists to the first day of school in the fall to show teachers just how busy they were during the summer, Nichols said.

More than 5,000 children participated in programming last summer, and the library staff is prepared to serve this many and more children this summer.

“We had so many kids running through here,” said Janel Bennett, library student assistant. “Even after the programs, they were still around. Even if they’re not checking out books, they’re still looking around.”

Bennett said children are excited about reading because she has seen avid readers check out more than 30 books at a time.

The library will also have extended hours.

“We will be happy this summer to offer an extra hour of library service for families to come and check out unlimited books,” Nichols said.

It will now be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 .m. until 5 p.m. and closed Sundays.

Programs are made possible by a gift from the Bess and Arthur Collias Charitable Foundation, a local private foundation.

The library will also have mesh bags with the summer program logo for sale for $5 each. All proceeds from sales of the bags will go directly to children’s programming.

Programs will run from June 2 through July 21.

To view a complete summer schedule, visit the library for a printed schedule or go to www.selmalibrary.org for more information.

The summer programming at the library has occurred for 32 years.