Another school year is in the books, and that means one thing at Southwest Public Libraries: Summer Reading Club is here.

If you're looking to avoid the summer slide, the library has dozens of events and programs scheduled throughout June and July that will keep patrons active and engaged while demonstrating that libraries, indeed, do rock.

Summer Reading Club, with the theme "Libraries Rock," officially kicks off on Saturday, June 2, and runs through July 26. Stop by either Grove City Library or Westland Area Library to sign up in person or visit to sign up online. Participate in Summer Reading Club and win amazing prizes.

Participants read any kind of books they want: fiction, nonfiction, biographies, children's books, science fiction.

The library's opening event for the program features penguins from the Newport Aquarium on June 4. The penguins will be at Grove City Library at 10:30 a.m. and at the Westland Area Library at 1 p.m.

Other guests throughout the summer include magician David Anthony on June 7, Dr. Insecta Bug with his "Meet the Beetles" program on June 14, storyteller Karen Meyer as Grandma Sarah on July 12, the Wump Muckets puppets show on July 19, Ironwood Wolves on June 25, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum on July 9 and returning favorites such as the Turtle Lady, ventriloquist and juggler Mike Hemmelgarn and children's entertainer Erica Carlson.

The Grove City and Westland Area libraries have all sorts of hands-on activities for children, teens and adults planned, many of which will have a musical theme. Children are invited to Grove City Library for Music Crafting as well as Locomotion Rocks, a music- and movement-based storytime. Westland will have a Touch an Instrument program on July 14. Adults will have the chance to watch some classic movie musicals at both branches.

Be sure to pick up a calendar or a copy of the summer edition of The Happenings for a full schedule of events.

Summer Reading Club is a busy time of the year. Both buildings will be crowded during different programs. The staff asks patrons to be mindful and courteous of others and to be mindful when parking.

There will be additional challenges at the Westland Area Library this summer. Work is expected to begin relatively soon on the 3,670-square-foot expansion of the Youth Services department. This is a much-needed addition. The lack of adequate space in recent years has limited the amount and type of programming the staff has been able to provide.

The expansion will cause some inconvenience -- there will be some noise, and some areas of the library will be closed off or restricted. But the expansion will be worth the wait, and the staff will be grateful to the patrons for their patience and support.

Mark Dubovec is communications manager for Southwest Public Libraries. Contact him at