Gardendale, Fultondale, and Warrior public libraries are kicking off their summer reading programs.

The theme for Alabama public libraries this year is “Make a Splash,” and the libraries have chosen activities to reflect the theme.

“It doesn’t cost families anything, and it’s a fun thing to do,” said Randy Rowell, assistant director for the Gardendale-Martha Moore Public Library.

Most of the libraries in north Jefferson County provide logs to the kids. They keep a tally of what they read, and they can win prizes for reading a certain number of books.

“It becomes a little bit competitive for them,” said Rowell. “It keeps kids reading, really.”

The Gardendale-Martha Moore Public Library has programs for every day of the week, including animal and magic shows, Nintendo Wii video game tournaments, crafts, story times and family movie nights.

“It’s comparable to what larger libraries do,” said Rowell.

For the first time ever, the Gardendale library is implementing an adult summer reading program. It’s almost identical to the children’s program; adults can even win prizes for reading books. Adults can also write short reviews of the books they read, and there will be lectures and documentary screenings.

“The adults read more and they patronize the library,” said Rowell. “But they’re going to bring their kids anyway, so now they can join, too.” He said he thinks adults feel a little left out when it comes to summer reading; he said the adult program is a good way for parents and kids to do summer reading together without making the parents read a book written for children.

Fultondale Public Library’s summer reading program is every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for kids up to 12 years old. Each of the eight sessions will have a different performer, including a magician, animal shows, a cowboy-style lasso trick show, and music.

“It’s a fun way to get kids to read during the summer,” said Jessica Allen, the Assistant Director at the Fultondale library. “You have to develop a love for reading early, or it won’t stay with you. If we don’t get new kids reading, then we don’t have a point and there’s no future for us.”

The Fultondale library is having its sign-up week through Friday. The library asks that large groups call ahead to make sure the library can accommodate them.

The Warrior Public Library is having their program every Thursday at 2 p.m. (except for the week of July 4) at the Warrior Community Center. They will also have a magic show and crafts, as well as science programs with the McWane Science Center and 4-H Center. The summer reading program will end with a party at the splash pad at Celebration Park in Gardendale from 10 p.m. - 12 p.m.


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