The Marinette County Public Libraries are challenging children, teens, and adults to collectively read 100,000 minutes between June 22 and July 31, 2020 in the library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge.
In typical years, the public libraries in Marinette County offered Summer Reading Clubs to encourage school-age children to keep up their reading skills during the long summer months. Each ran a little differently, but the clubs tracked how many minutes or books children, teens, and adults read during the summer. They also offered engaging events at the libraries. Local businesses donated coupons for food or activities in each community for the libraries to give away as reading incentive prizes.
Like so many other community traditions that have been re-imagined in response to public safety concerns, the Marinette County Public Libraries are offering an at-home, County-wide Summer Reading Challenge. Anyone who lives in Marinette County may participate for free. Participants with Internet access may track the time they spend reading using Beanstack (an online website or app) and participate in virtual programs including Story Time, Itsy Bitsy Story Time, Digital Escape Rooms, STEM activities, and crafts. Participants without Internet access may track their reading minutes on paper and complete the crafts and activities using the Reading Challenge Booklet provided by the library.
Children’s Services Librarian Lara Lakari helped coordinate and organize the library’s switch to a County-wide, at-home Summer Reading Challenge. She says, “The opportunity to work with all of our branches and expand our summer offerings is very exciting. We hope that patrons will enjoy the variety and accessibility of our program this year.”
Registration begins on Monday, June 15. Visit www.marinettecountylibraries.org to register using Beanstack or contact your local library. Registrants will receive a Summer Reading Challenge Booklet and family activity kit. Created by Marinette County Library staff, the Booklet is full of craft instructions, songs, games, and stories. The family activity kit contains materials to complete the crafts and activities; supplemental craft envelopes are also available if more than one person in a family wants to participate. Families will need to supply some of their own materials like markers, glue, and empty toilet paper tubes. The Summer Reading Challenge Booklet will be available to view on the library website; activity kit quantities are limited.
Participants have the opportunity to earn virtual tickets to enter into Grand Prize Drawings by logging reading minutes, completing activities, and reviewing books. Grand Prize Drawings will be gift certificates purchased from local businesses.
The Summer Reading Challenge will look different from previous years, but the libraries’ commitment to engaging readers remains the same. For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge, virtual events, curbside pick-up, or for other questions, please visit www.marinettecountylibraries.org or find us on Facebook.
Local public libraries continue to provide access to free resources for education, personal growth, and entertainment while the library buildings are closed to the public. The Marinette County Public Libraries offer access to digital material through websites and apps including, RB Digital, OverDrive, and Hoopla. Because no one service can provide it all, these websites provide a wide variety of content to meet the needs and interests of children, teens, and adults in our County.
RB Digital combines a unique blend of resources, including digital audiobooks, digital magazines, and music instructional videos. Most audiobooks from the RB Digital website are always available and can be borrowed for up to 21 days. Over 100 current magazines are available in full-color; magazine topics include automotive, business and finance, current affairs, food and cooking, health and fitness, and travel. RB Digital also offers self-paced music instructional video lessons from music professionals; users may choose to learn to play instruments like guitar, saxophone, percussion, harmonica, and ukulele, or learn music theory.
OverDrive is the State-wide digital catalog that allows users from all across Wisconsin to borrow digital audiobooks, eBooks, and streaming movies. OverDrive includes many newly published titles and other high-demand, popular digital materials. While waiting for an eBook to become available, users may limit searches to “Available Now” to find eBooks and audiobooks to check out and use immediately.
The digital service, Hoopla, allows users to check out movies and TV shows, music, comics, audiobooks, and eBooks. These items are always available with no waiting period or commercials.
While it is true that reading an eBook is not like the physical act of holding a book in hand and turning pages, eBooks and other digital materials provide some advantages. First, eBooks and other digital materials are accessible even when the library is closed and at the user’s convenience. Second, digital materials are automatically returned on the due date, eliminating the need to remember to get books back to the library on time. Third, eReaders can adjust the size of the typeface to make reading accessible to people who prefer or require a larger print size. Finally, digital materials can go with users wherever a user goes. For example, audiobooks can be excellent companions while doing household chores, driving, or other activities.
To use any of these digital platforms, visit www.infosoup.org and click on “InfoSoup Online Resources”. There, library users will find information about registering a library card to use these sites. If a person living in Marinette County would like to register for a free library card, please visit www.infosoup.org and click on “Apply for a Library Card Online”. To renew an existing library card account, please call the Stephenson Public Library in Marinette at 715-732-7570 or your local branch library.
If you prefer to check out physical books, audiobooks, music, and movies, the Marinette County Public Libraries are open for curbside pick-up by appointment. Please contact your local branch library for details.