homepage logo

‘A Universe of Stories’: Shepherdstown Public Library kicks off kids, adults summer reading programs

By Staff | Jun 19, 2019

Shepherdstown Public Library volunteer Maia Carlisle paints the face of North Jefferson Elementary School first grader Ezra Ryder with an alien face at the Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN – For the first time in the Shepherdstown Public Library’s history, its summer reading program will be open to both adults and children. Many adults were taking advantage of this new opportunity on Saturday afternoon, as they signed up to join the 2019 Adult Summer Reading Program during the library’s Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party behind its building on King Street.

The space-themed party included popcorn, face painting, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and a photo booth, in conjunction with the summer reading program’s theme, “A Universe of Stories.” According to Children’s Librarian Tara Carlisle, the party was held for the first time this year to celebrate the summer reading program expansion.

“Since we’re also doing the adult summer reading program, we wanted to get everyone excited about the summer,” Carlisle said. “I just hope it encourages literacy through the whole family. It can be something they do together as a summer activity.”

For Christy Ryder, of Kearneysville, participating in the summer reading program with her kids was a no-brainer.

“I have five kids, all of whom will be participating in the summer reading program. It gets them excited about spending time reading,” Ryder said, mentioning she and her husband will be in the adult program together. “I think it’s hard to find time to sit down and read a book, because you’re constantly helping your children. My goal throughout the summer is to have a set reading time, like 20 minutes every day, for everyone to focus on books.”

Children make bubbles together behind the Shepherdstown Public Library, during the Summer Reading Program Kickoff on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

While the children and teen summer reading programs involve weekly prizes, such as coupons for a free cookie at the Sweet Shop or a free treat at Chick-fil-A, the adult summer reading program will feature an end-of-the-summer celebration.

“On August 3, we’ll hold a potluck dinner at the Shepherdstown Community Club,” said Assistant Library Director Tish Wiggs, who is heading up the adult program. “It’ll be a collective book club for everyone to come and discuss what they’ve read. We will also do raffle drawings for gift cards to local businesses.”

According to Wiggs, she knew an adult summer reading program needed to be developed over a year ago, and after doing research at other libraries with adult summer reading programs, she settled on using a Book Bingo concept for the program.

“Every summer parents would say, ‘I want to do it, too!'” Wiggs said about the summer reading program. “It’s nice and it’s kind of low-stress. I hope the bingo card gives people the opportunity to read across the library, to dip into other formats or genres.

“People feel like, ‘I’ve read for my kids, that’s all the headspace I have for reading,'” Wiggs said. “But I hope it reminds people that reading’s pleasurable, that that’s the goal.”

Seven-year-old homeschooler Marilyn Robinson draws a picture on King Street, during the Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston

Adults can sign up for the library’s summer reading program through July 27. To learn more, visit/www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us/, call 304-876-2783 or visit the library at 100 East German Street.

Emily Bennett, of Kearneysville, watches her five-year-old daughter Aubrey Bennett sign up for Shepherdstown Public Library's summer reading program on Saturday afternoon. Tabitha Johnston