With summer break just around the corner, many pupils are planning days of swimming, vacations and playing -- and many will be reading.
More than 2,000 Columbia County children included the Summer Reading Program on their summer agendas last year.
This year's program -- with the theme of Be Creative @ Your Library for elementary school children and Express Yourself @ Your Library for teens -- begins Friday.
"It is all about being creative," said Pam Link, the children's librarian at Columbia County Library in Evans.
Link said children enjoy the program because they get to chose what they read.
Reading over the summer helps keep reading and writing skills sharp until classes resume in the fall.
"(They'll be) right where they were or ahead," Link said. "If they read enough over the summer, they'll actually be ahead of where they were at the end of school."
To complete the program, children must read for 15 hours or 30 books.
Those too young to read can spend the required time being read to, and library storytimes count toward their totals.
Teens must read for 15 hours.
"Every child that finishes will get a free book," Link said.
Other rewards, including gift certificates from businesses, also will be given for completing the program.
Folders will be available at all three library branches -- the other two are Euchee Creek Library near Grovetown and Harlem Library -- starting Friday.
The folders must be returned before July 24.
For the first time, the library is offering a Summer Reading Program for adults.
"We're real excited about it," said Nancy Lightsey, the program coordinator and a reference librarian at the Evans library.
The adult program, Branch Out @ Your Library, is organized in a bingo format. Anyone over 18 can pick up bingo cards at the reference desk of any branch.
"The whole purpose is to get people to try different things at the library, such as checking out a music CD or reading a genre of book that they normally wouldn't," Lightsey said.
Participants will be required to complete at least four tasks on their bingo card to complete a row.
The tasks require reading different genres of books and using many of the library's alternative offerings, such as renting books on tape or music CD and attending library events.
Participants will receive a library mug, and all the cards will be included in a drawings for prizes, including a grill and gift certificates from businesses.
For information on both programs, contact the Columbia County Library at (706) 863-1946.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.