The Columbus Metropolitan Library will kick off its Summer Reading Club on Saturday, June 8, at all 21 branches.
The program is expected to draw 90,000 participants throughout the summer, making it one of the largest in the country, said Gregg Dodd, spokesman for the library system.
"What this does is keeps them focused, it keeps them learning," Dodd said. "And that's certainly the objective. It's great for our community and great for our kids, as well."
A host of activities is planned throughout the day Saturday to celebrate the launch of this year's program, titled "Rock Out! Read."
From 10 a.m. to noon at the main library, 96 S. Grant Ave., activities, games, music, food and reading opportunities will be available inside the building and on the lawn.
Entertainment includes the Shazzbots, magician David Brizius and DJ Doctah X. Following that, a free concert featuring the Dan White Sextet is scheduled at the Topiary Park.
Registration is required to join the Summer Reading Club. Those interested can sign up online at columbuslibrary.org/ summerreadingclub.
"It's absolutely fun and educational and exciting," Dodd said. "And it keeps kids excited and focused about coming to the library, discovering new books and continuing to read all summer long."
Reading club participants will have the opportunity to win merchandise throughout the summer.
Children 5 to 11 years old who read 12 hours to complete the program will earn a tote bag, while teens who read 12 hours will receive a flash drive. For six hours of reading or being read to, children up to age 4 will get an educational toy to help with letter recognition and pre-reading skills.
Along the way, participants can earn coupon sheets featuring discounts and free items at local restaurants, cultural facilities and entertainment destinations. At the conclusion of the Summer Reading Club, which ends Aug. 3, two bicycles and helmets will be raffled off at each Columbus Metropolitan Library branch for those qualify.