Don't be alarmed by all the green slime at the Westerville Public Library.
This year, the library's summer reading program theme is "Fizz Boom Read," encouraging science-inspired reading and learning.
"Everyone is excited this year," library marketing coordinator Linda Wilkins said in an email.
"The library is decorated as though a huge chemistry spill took place. There's green slime throughout the library as rolls of plastic cut into strips appear to ooze on top of library walls and desks. It has generated a lot of buzz."
From May 28 to Aug. 2, Westerville Public Library's summer reading program encourages beginners, kids, teens and adults to register and log their reading hours for a chance to win prizes.
There are no restrictions on what books can be read, but the library's website offers suggestions to get started.
The adult services staff created a "Table of Elements" to tie in the theme and categorize books into "literary elements," such as comedy, romance or fantasy.
"We're hoping to spark a reaction by encouraging and rewarding readers and pre-readers of every age," Wilkins said. "We encourage everybody to continue reading throughout the eight-week program to keep their reading skills sharp."
The library divides reading challenges by age level. For beginners -- through age 5 -- parents help their child with early literacy exercises using an activity log found on the library's website.
The kids level is for readers through grade five. Once kids read 12 hours, they get to choose a book from the prize cart. Those who read more get a chance to win a set of books.
Teens, in grades 6-12, can select a book from the prize cart after 15 hours of reading. Teens have a chance to receive Target gift cards valued at up to $100 for 30 hours of reading or more.
Adults can participate as well. By reviewing or rating a book they read or listened to, their names will be automatically entered in weekly and grand prize drawings.
Adults can win: kitchen items at Sur La Table; a wine tasting for four at Meza Wine Shop; gift cards for a cooking class, Amish Originals Furniture, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Giammarco's Italian Restaurant and others; or a framed and matted Ohio State University print from Andy's Frame Setting.
"The big thing there is to continue reading," Wilkins said. "Each program is designed for incentives for reading."
As of Monday, June 2, 1,571 people had registered for the summer reading program, which is about 42 percent of last year's total, Wilkins said.
"We consider this an excellent start," she said.
Last year, 3,696 people registered for the program.
The library is recruiting more teen volunteers, too. The library already hosts three orientations for its teen volunteers and it has scheduled three more because of high demand.
"We've already filled 888 of our 1,372 spots at the registration table and filled all of our 418 spots to help at events," Wilkins said.
The library will host events almost daily through the summer, many of them science-inspired. From 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, kids can learn the science behind cooking in the Chef Battle program.
Next month, the library will host Mad Science, which invites kids to learn science through interactive experiments, demonstrations and "things that go fizz and boom," Wilkins said. The event is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. July 12, according to the library's website.
A summer reading wrap-up party Aug. 2 will feature author and musician Jim Gill. Performances are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
To register for the summer reading program or for more information, go to the library's website at wpl.lib.oh.us/srp or call 614-882-7277.