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Turning a New Page on the Pandemic at Lincoln City Libraries.

Apr 23, 2021 ● By Sean Flattery

It’s hard to believe that we are looking at our second summer of library services in a pandemic. Luckily, five years ago, we put our Summer Reading Challenge online with Beanstack. Thousands of families have accounts that they can access from home, or from any of their mobile devices. Because children like to track their progress- and they like stickers! – we will have paper booklets available too.

The biggest change for this summer is no big in-person indoor events. Since young children will be the last group to be vaccinated, we decided not to encourage large groups of children from different families to come together in a closed space.

However, our staff and our customers want to be together again so we will offer outdoor Library Learning Times in June and July, either on library property or in parks close by. Families and daycare groups should bring a blanket or chairs and social distancing will be practiced. The schedule will be posted on our website.

The Summer Reading Challenge will offer the same coupons, perks and prizes as in past year with a few added bonuses.

  • People who preregister from May 21-May 31 will be eligible to win $50 gift cards from Hy-Vee, Super Saver, Walmart, Target or Russ’s Market.

  • Each registrant will receive a plantable seed paper bookmark and a book bag while supplies last.

  • Readers who log their reading time in Beanstack will earn tickets they can put towards drawings for gift cards for food, entertainment, and fun activities. The more you read, the more tickets you earn.

  • We will have Take and Make Craft Kits for young children and for tweens and teens.

  • In partnership with 4-H, we will offer STEM Imagination Kits for check out. Each kit comes with three books about the natural world, and a guide for related STEM activities. Themes are Farm, Pond, Forest and House Pets and are intended for children ages 3-8.

  • Our Storytimes to Go kits have been refreshed to include spring and summer themes. Find out more or request a kit here.

  • Book Bundles can help if you want to limit your time in the library. Check here for more information, or to request a bundle.

  • Teens can request their own curated book bundles with added art or craft items by going here.

  • The Art Bus LNK will be making “pop up” visits to our library parking lots this summer. Check our Facebook page for these opportunities for your kids to get creative.

Finally, we know sometimes it’s hard to know how to help your child select the best books possible for summer reading. We have several resources to help.

Our Fundamentals list contains some of the best concept books for children ages 3-6.  Each library has these in a special section in the youth area.

Our top 100 Novels for Youth has been updated to include more diversity and award-winning titles for children ages 9-12. Ask for a paper copy of the list at the library, or see it here.

For general help choosing book for a specific age group, look for our Raising Readers videos on our Youtube channel.

You and your family can help us reach our goal of 10,000 people registered for the Summer Reading Challenge with the added benefit to your child of keeping their reading and thinking skills sharp over the summer break.

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