Eugene, Springfield libraries offer all-ages summer reading programs – The Register-Guard

The Eugene and Springfield public libraries are offering unique summer reading programs for area residents of all ages, along with various prizes for participants.

Maddie Dimick, left, Naomi Hibbard, both age 7, flip through books in the courtyard of the Eugene Public Library Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Eugene Public Library

The Eugene Public Library’s free summer reading program began Wednesday and runs through August, providing readers of all ages with an adventure card where are asked to both write in what they’ve read, and other accomplishments such as exploring somewhere new or creating something.

Children and teens in the program get a free new book to keep, and adults get a free tote bag with the library’s logo. Participants can pick up an adventure card at the library or print from the library website: eugene-or.gov/library. Signups are available at the downtown, Bethel and Sheldon libraries.

Each card includes a free raffle ticket, which can lead to winning gift cards from a variety of local businesses and organizations.

On the card, participants are asked what they read, and can list any books regardless of their age, along with other summer accomplishments.

Library Director Will O’Hearn said the organization’s main goal is for people to take on challenges that are doable for them, whether it’s reading or an activity.

“You can fill it out with as difficult a book as you want,” O’Hearn said. “If you want to put ‘War and Peace,’ that’s great. At whatever level you are, we want to meet you there and whatever challenge you feel comfortable with. That’s what’s important about summer reading: the love of reading, and the love of literacy, and creating and exploring in our community.”

O’Hearn said the library also wants participants to have a fulfilling summer through its program, whether it’s exploring new places, learning new skills or creating something.

Participants are put into a final raffle for prizes at the end of the program regardless of whether they finish their challenge, unlike in the past when readers had to fill out a bingo card with their progress. Visitors without a library card can still participate in other programs such as story times.

Carts of free books for the Summer Reading Program sit in the kids section at the Eugene Public Library Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Springfield Public Library

In Springfield, the summer reading program starts June 12 and runs through Aug. 20, with four challenges for the different age groups and reading levels. The challenges are group for “pre-readers” ages zero through 7, pre-teens age 7 to 12, teenagers, and adults. Each group has more challenging reading requirements as they get older.

Participants who are teenagers or younger are given a free book and smaller gifts throughout the program and will win another by completing reading challenges.

No library card is required, and signup is free and available in-person at the library or online at https://wheremindsgrow.beanstack.org/reader365 where readers log their progress.

The library, located in Springfield City Hall, also offers summer lunch programs for youths through FOOD for Lane County, and has music, magic, bilingual and cultural performances at 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday outside the library at the fountain plaza.

By completing the challenges readers get raffle tickets toward grand prizes, which include bundles of books, games and toys for pre-teens and younger, Amazon gift cards for teens and gift cards to local Springfield businesses for adults.

Taylor Worley, youth services librarian for the Springfield Public Library, said she is excited to be ramping the summer reading program back up to what was offered before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The main thing is we just like to encourage people to keep their brains moving, and to explore reading things that make them feel happy and fulfilled and challenge,” Worley said. “For a kid that might be starting a chapter book for the first time, or for a reluctant reader that might be actually finishing a book for the first time ever, and finally finding something that speaks to them. For adults, it may be relearning how to read for fun.”

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com, and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

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