UPDATE: Online registration is now available at http://mcplib.org/summer-reading-2020-registration/!
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is planning a modified Summer Reading Program this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library is currently closed in accordance with government regulations and recommendations from healthcare officials.
However, library director Janet Harris explained, library staff hope to continue serving the community through reading challenges and online programming, especially as time draws near for the library’s popular annual Summer Reading Program. “We are unable to welcome guests into our buildings right now, but we’re still trying to find ways to help our community stay busy and continue learning new things from their own homes,” Harris said. “We have several online resources that people can access from anywhere, and we’ve been sharing video read-alongs and crafts since we can’t do storytime in person.”
Harris said, “Like a lot of other libraries, we normally ramp up programming for the summer, so we really hope to continue to provide these resources and others over the next couple of months as well.”
Muhlenberg County Public Libraries traditionally holds a Summer Reading Program each June with themed programs for all ages as well as incentives for reading. This year’s “Imagine Your Story” fantasy-themed program will be a little different than previous years, but staff have been working to come up with ways to host Summer Reading virtually while still following social distancing guidelines.
Instead of hosting programs in person at the library, staff are creating videos of activities that community members can do in their own homes. These videos will be shared weekly on the library’s website, social media accounts and YouTube channel. Each week will include at least one “family” program suitable for elementary age and younger children, one teen program for middle and high school aged participants, and one adult program. Additional programs may also be shared as they become available.
The library is partnering with Muhlenberg County Schools for this year’s Summer Reading Program. School faculty and staff are helping create and distribute materials and videos for the program.
Weekly program kits, including supplies for the recorded activities, will be available each week for children and teens who register for the Summer Reading Program. Kits may be picked up at set times at either library location or outside Bremen or Muhlenberg South Elementary schools. Participants will be asked for their preferred pickup location at registration and will be notified in advance of their pickup date and time.
Participants of all ages will also be encouraged to keep track of their reading through the summer. The library will be using Reader Zone, an app and website designed to easily allow readers to log how much they have read, in lieu of paper reading logs for most Summer Reading participants. Invitations to the library’s Reader Zone program will be emailed to participants as registrations are received.
Paper logs will also be available for those who cannot or do not want to keep track of their reading progress online.
Registration for the Summer Reading program will begin Monday, May 18. A form for online registration will be posted here on the library’s website and social media pages on that date. A printable version of the form is also available below for those who prefer a written format; printed forms can be mailed to the library or placed in the book drops at either library location when complete. (Click on the image for the full-size printable form.) Library staff will begin processing paper registrations on May 18.
Please do not complete the online form if you have already completed a paper form. Only one completed registration form is needed per participant. However, we will require a separate registration for each person who will be participating in Summer Reading, regardless of age.
Participants can register at any time before the end of Summer Reading but must be registered no later than May 26 in order to receive the first week’s craft kit. This allows staff time to prepare enough kits for the week.
For more information about the library’s Summer Reading plans, contact the library through social media or through the contact form at http://www.mcplib.org/contact. Questions can also be sent by mail to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries, 117 South Main Street, Greenville, KY 42345.