Author appearances, an exhibit highlighting women's contributions to the aerospace industry and giveaways from local businesses are included in the Bexley Public Library's 2019 Summer Community Read.

This year's program started May 31 and continues through Aug. 11 at the library, 2411 E. Main St., with activities centered on a space theme.

The Summer Community Read enables participants to earn rewards by tracking their reading throughout the program, said Ken Flower, the library's director of advancement and community relations.

"For some people, it's 'I want to read a book a day.' Some people want to read 30 minutes a day. Others want to read a certain number of pages per day," Flower said.

The library estimates nearly 1,000 people signed up for the reading program during the first weekend, which included a matinee of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" on May 31, a space-themed playtime including a juggler and face painting on June 1, and a concert featuring The Muppet Mayhem Band on June 2.

The Summer Community Read attracts an average of 1,500 to 2,000 participants each year, and those interested can sign up throughout the run of the program, Flower said.

"People can sign up even when there's just a few weeks left," he said. "People can sign up all summer long."

Scheduled events at the library include a July 9 presentation by Brad Hoehne, director of the John Glenn Astronomy Park in Hocking County, who will speak about the vastness of space and what stars will be visible in the night sky this summer. On July 18, Robert Harmon, an Ohio Wesleyan University physics and astronomy professor, will discuss the Apollo 11 moon landing, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Both presentations begin at 7 p.m.

Throughout August, the library will host an exhibit from the International Women's Air & Space Museum chronicling the stories of women from around the world who have contributed to air and space exploration.

In between, the library will present programs for youth such as space-themed magic shows with Jim Kleefeld on June 25 and Erica Carlson on July 17 and a final "Splashdown Party" from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 11, featuring tie-dye shirt making, food trucks and appearances by members of the 501st Legion of "Star Wars" characters.

Participants can track their reading on Star Reader trackers the library will provide and receive raffle tickets for passes to the Bexley Community Pool, the Drexel Theatre, Art with Anna and other locations.

"This year, we decided early on that our primary goal was to become part of the landscape of summer life in Bexley," said Julie Scordato, the library's Youth Services manager. "We want the Summer Community Read to be a part of summer as much as Main Event, the Fourth of July Parade, swim lessons and summer camps.

"When someone signs up, we give them everything they need up front so they can work their library experience into their summer, no matter how much traveling or other activities are going on in their lives," she said.

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