The Columbus Metropolitan Library is asking readers of all ages to investigate new books this summer.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is asking readers of all ages to investigate new books this summer.

All 21 library locations plan to kick off the Summer Reading Club -- "Get a Clue. Read!" -- on Saturday, June 6.

The program has been a staple of the library system for more than 50 years and is a good way to keep children's knowledge fresh over the summer, said Kim Snell, spokeswoman for the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

She said the kickoff bash at the main branch, 96 S. Grant Ave., will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 6 and will feature parachute games, sidewalk art, live music, food, video games and a scavenger hung, among other activities.

Each branch will have its own schedule of activities.

This year's reading club runs through Aug. 1, and will include programs and events for readers of all ages.

Snell said the library system expects about 100,000 people to participate.

"I think Columbus really values its libraries," Snell said. "We expect probably even more participation this year as people are looking for inexpensive ways to spend time with their families. It's great entertainment, it's education and it's a way to save some money in the process."

Amy McLanahan, the youth services team leader at the Hilliard branch, has been head of the Summer Reading Club's planning board for the last two years.

She said this year's program will feature new incentives for all ages.

Each participant will receive a coupon book with discounts to local businesses such as the Columbus Blue Jackets, Panera Bread and Zoombezi Bay as well as a backpack adorned with the reading club logo.

Children also have the chance to enter a raffle at each of the locations for a chance to win a bicycle donated by Executive Women International. Each branch will raffle two bikes, which will hang in the branches over the summer as incentives to readers.

McLanahan said teen winners have the chance to select a book as well as enter into a raffle to win a private gaming party with 10 of their friends at each of the 21 locations.

Teens also can enter a raffle to win an iPod Shuffle or a small laptop computer. Each location will raffle an iPod, but only one laptop will be awarded throughout the system.

Adult readers have the chance to win tote bags, mugs and coupons to Panera Bread or Taco Bell.

Each location also will raffle a pair of tickets to BalletMet and two books donated by The Columbus Dispatch.

"A whole family can sign up and do the program together," McLanahan said. "It's a game for all ages."

She said the reading program helps keep young readers on their game over the summer.

"(Reading) is just like any skill, where you lose the ability to do it if you stop doing it," she said. "We want to encourage them to do that by making it fun."

Participants have four ways to move through the game: by reading, having a library card, participating in online activities and attending reading club activities at the library branches.

"Our goal with the Summer Reading Club is to encourage people of all ages to read every day," McLanahan said. "You have to do that by making it fun and exciting."

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