Children and adults will want to revv up their engines for this year's summer reading programs at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.
The library is offering a number of programs under the theme "Reading Road Trip U.S.A." that will drive readers to read both fiction and nonfiction as they race toward an imaginary finish line.
Joyce Steiner, youth services coordinator, said the summer program for young children encourages listening and reading for all ages.
"We encourage parents to read to their babies," she said. "There are studies now that prove it helps brain development."
The children's program began Friday and will continue through July 31. Folders can be picked up at the library.
The goal for listeners is 16 picture books or eight chapter books. The goal for readers is 16 picture or easy-to-read books or eight chapter books. Extra credit can be earned.
Steiner said about 7,000 children pick up summer reading folders each year, with about 2,500 finishing the program. Those who finish will receive coupons from Community Mercantile, Bucky's, Mr. Gatti's, Taco John's, Englewood Florist, Old Chicago, Papa Murphy's and Children's Book Store, as well as swimming passes from Lawrence Parks and Recreation.
Several special programs are planned for youngsters, including magic by Chris Bruch, 1 p.m. Wednesday; "My Family Settled in Kansas," music by Kelly Werts, 1 p.m. June 13; "Scuba Man!" by Chad Jackson, 1 p.m. June 20; "Kites for Little Tykes," with Matt Costabile, for ages 2-5, 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. June 21; Peculiar Jugglers, 1 p.m. June 27; storytelling by Ms. Jean, 1 p.m. July 11; "Kansas Wildlife" by Prairie Park Nature Center, 1 p.m. July 18; and Road Trip U.S.A. Game, 1 p.m.-8 p.m. July 25.
A book club for 8- to 12-year-olds, called Bookworms Unite!, will be offered from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays.
A "Books and Babies" storytime for children 8 to 23 months old and their caregivers will be from 10:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, beginning Wednesday and running through July 25.
A storytime for 2-year-olds and their caregivers will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning Tuesday and going through June 29, and July 3-27.
A storytime for preschoolers and elementary students will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning Tuesday and running through June 31.
Just for teens
Teen-agers will have a chance to win a day at the Kansas Speedway if they complete the reading program for students in grades 6-12.
Kim Patton, young adult specialist, said the prize includes a pass for the winner and a friend to the NASCAR race track in Kansas City, Mo. They will tour the garage and pit and get a chance to drive a race car around the track.
The drawing for the NASCAR package will be June 15 so teens will need to get started reading soon, Patton said.
Other prizes that will be given away in a drawing include passes to Science City at Union Station, the Kansas City Zoo, Worlds of Fun and other attractions and certificates to the Gap, Kohl's, Weaver's and several restaurants.
"We have about 800 who picked up folders last year, and about 500 finished, which is a record (for the teen program)," Patton said.
The goal for teens is to read at least eight books through July 31. They must read one nonfiction, one biography, one folk tale, fairy tale or poetry book, and five other books of their choice, including magazines, newspapers and comics.
Those who reach the goal will receive a coupon packet, book bag and T-shirt and be eligible for the prize drawing. Additional coupons, CDs and chances for the drawing can be earned by reading additional books, writing reviews or attending Zone programs.
Zone programs include "An Intro to Zines," 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday; Young Adult Advisory Board meeting, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. June 10; Game Night, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. June 13; "Teen Safety" with the Lawrence Police Department, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. June 20; Drive-In Movie Night, with "Independence Day," 4 p.m.-7 p.m. June 27; YAAB meeting, time to be announced, July 8; "Car Care for Teens," with Byron Edmondson, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. July 11; "Tye Dye" craft project, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. July 18; and Back-to-School Fashion Show and Book Review, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. July 27.
For adults, too
While the number of children and teens using the library increases almost threefold during the summer, library use by adults, particularly in the nonfiction/research area, seems to slow down perhaps because most Kansas University students are away from mid-May to mid-August.
But that doesn't mean the library isn't offering programs for the adult age bracket, according to Sandra Wiechert, community relations coordinator.
"We've had about 60 to 100 participants in the past," Wiechert said.
Adults will be asked to read four full-length books: a fiction book set in an area the reader might like to visit; a fiction or nonfiction book about another area, perhaps one the reader has visited; a nonfiction book on a U.S. travel theme, such as a book on the Oregon Trail or a biography of a traveler such as John Muir or Theodore Roosevelt; and a book of the reader's choice. Wiechert said unabridged audio books can be substituted for bound volumes.
When readers have finished the program, they will collect coupons from D&D Tire, The Yarn Barn, Southwest and More, The Raven Bookstore, Liberty Hall, Bucky's and Friends of the Library. They also will receive pencils from Carlson-Wagonlit Travel.
Wiechert said a writer's workshop taught by mystery author Nancy Pickard will be offered to adults from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 30.
For more information about the library's reading programs and special events, call 843-3833.