With the warm weather of the summer months just ahead, local libraries are working to entice youngsters to "chill out" and spend a little time indoors reading.
Area youngsters, teens and adults are being encouraged to participate in "Rock Out-Read" this summer at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
The Bexley Public Library is calling all youngsters to take part in its Reading Rodeo.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library kicks off its annual Summer Reading Program June 8, but will still accept registrants who can earn prizes through Aug. 3. Online registration began May 29.
The Bexley Public Library kicked off its program May 29; it concludes Aug. 1.
Whether it's online or in the library itself, both library programs are offering something for everyone.
"Librarians, we like to tell kids to read whatever they want over the summer," said Mandy Simon, young adult librarian at the Bexley Public Library. "We feel our job is to foster a love of reading. As long as they are spending time with a book rather than in front of a screen, we're happy."
This year at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, young ones, from toddlers to pre-teens, can read from six to 12 hours to complete the program.
It's free to enroll, and children can earn either a Summer Reading Club tote bag, a toddler word game or a flash drive, plus coupons to area attractions.
Children ages 5-11 who complete eight hours of reading also will be entered to win a free bike and helmet at area branches. Youngsters up to age 4 can earn a High Five through Highlights Magazine with four hours of reading.
Teens can earn credit for reading a total of 12 hours. Incentives include a Summer Reading Club flash drive and coupons to local attractions. If teens reach the second milestone on their record sheet, they can enter to win one of several prize packs.
Adults can earn credit by reading by themselves or to a child. Adults can earn their own prize package, coupon sheet and tickets to area attractions.
Because Summer Reading Club planners don't expect everyone to bury their nose in a book all summer, they are offering other activities to help bring the pages of books to life. The Columbus Metropolitan Library's main location, 96 S. Grant Ave., will offer activities that will help children rock like a pirate with a magic show, to enjoy a fairy-tale tea, explore the jungle, listen to jazz at Topiary Park, and have fun with some wild, wacky animals.
Programs also will offer tween gaming, cartooning, songs that tell stories, preschool art and a Mythology Smackdown.
To register, visit any branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, including the main location, or log on to the library's website, summerreadingclub.com -- or stop in the youth services department at the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St., to register for its program.
At the Bexley Public Library, babies, toddlers and preschoolers are being invited to go West in its Summer Reading Program, all centered around the rodeo theme May 29 through Aug. 1. It also works on a point system. All participants will have a chance to win prizes for reading books, listening to audiobooks and attending library programs.
Children in first through sixth grade who complete the program will receive an entry into the grand-prize raffle for a bike. Pre-readers (up to kindergartners) who complete the program, Read to Me Rodeo, will receive a prize and a free book.
Teens in grades 7-12 who complete their program, Wanted -- Teen Readers, will receive an entry into a raffle for an iPad Mini.
Partway through the program, participants will receive a yard sign to announce that a "Star Reader Lives Here" to place in their own front yard. A party is planned in August for all of those who complete the program.
Events at the library include Critter Cowboy Camp, Wild Ohio with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and a magic show with Jim Kleefeld.
Participants can download a registration form at bexlib.org.