Public libraries promote summer reading

Emily Bullock, News

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From June 1 to July 13, the Hawaii State Library System will be holding its Summer Reading program. Libraries all over Hawaii will hold programs associated with this year’s theme, “A Universe of Stories.” The Summer Reading Program lasts six weeks.

From June 1 to July 13, the Hawaii State Library System will be holding its Summer Reading program. Libraries all over Hawaii will hold programs associated with this year’s theme, “A Universe of Stories.” 

“The Summer Reading program is a challenge that we have and we are part of a national initiative to get everybody reading,” Jan Kamiya says, the young adult librarian at McCully Moiliili Library. “We’re part of a program that follows the same theme all across the U.S.”

The program encourages people to read by offering small prizes to those who participate. In the past, prizes such as pencils, pens, erasers, and keychains were given. Additionally, for every 100 minutes read, participants enter for a chance to win four round-trip tickets to anywhere that Alaska Airlines flies.

“The more that you read, the more chances you have as an entree to win the big prize,” Kamiya explains.

On Saturday, June 1, you can sign up by simply visiting http://www.librarieshawaii.org/ and creating a Beanstack account. This account can be accessed online or through the Beanstack app. The app keeps track of how many minutes you have read and rewards you with digital badges for different achievements, such as every 100 minutes.

“We collect the amount of minutes read,” Kamiya says. “Then, it’s all put into a big collection and then we get to report how many minutes the state of Hawaii has read. So, it’s a fun, collaborative, cooperative collection of all of the minutes we’ve read over the summer!”

The program is for children, teens, and adults. Not only does it include prizes, but it encourages library patrons to check out the other programs held at libraries. These programs are usually related to the Summer Reading Program theme. For example, the McCully Moiliili branch plans on having fun programs such as an Institute of Astronomy “Sky Lab” program, movies, and string and piano concerts.

“The summer reading program is an ideal way to keep reading during the summer and maintain interesting in visiting the library on a regular basis to continue to utilize their printed material and now we have online material, as well as programs, which are offered in abundance especially during the summer,” McCully’s adult services librarian, Linnel Yamashita notes.

On the first day of the Summer Reading Program, the Hawaii State Library on King St. will be featuring a large kickoff event. From 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., there will be fun programs such as building an outer-space Lego city, crafts, storytime, and a robotics demo by McKinley High School’s Robotics team.

Even if you don’t attend the event, participating in the Program may be beneficial.

“Studies have shown that over the summer,” Kamiya adds. “If students have that long break over the summer and they’re not doing any studying or any reading, it takes that much longer when the fall comes in for your brain to wake up into the mode of reading and studying again. So, if you keep your brain active over the summer, you’re that much better of a student when you return to school.”

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