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Library Announces Summer Reading Program Adjustments for 2020

Post Date:06/08/2020 3:00 PM
One of Chapel Hill’s most beloved summer traditions will continue this year, with adjustments to accommodate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Chapel Hill Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Program will be streamlined and simplified to focus on what’s most important – the love of reading and our diverse community.  As always, the Library’s Summer Reading Program is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library. 

The Summer Reading Program has been re-imagined for a world in the midst of a pandemic and with the safety of staff and users as the top priority.  No in-person programs will take place this summer and the Library building will remain closed during Phase Two of the Governor’s re-opening plan.  Large-scale events are not allowed, so the Summer Reading Kickoff is cancelled.  Despite those constraints, Library staff have designed a program that is fun and relaxing. 

The theme of this year’s summer season is a simple one, “We Love Reading.” There are several components of the program that build on that theme, some familiar from summers past, and some specific to this year:

  • The Library asks the community to proclaim its love of reading online. As in years past, everyone who signs up will have their name placed in the Library’s large window.
  • As part of that sign up process, participants download and print a Summer Reading Calendar that encourages them to read everyday, for at least 20 minutes.  It will also be available to pick up at the Library as part of curbside pickup, slated to begin on June 15.
  • Participants can also proclaim their love of reading and community with a “We Love Reading” yard sign.
  • At the end of the summer, all participants will receive a free book, courtesy of The Friends of the Library, to keep the love of reading going after summer is over. 

While no in-person programs will take place, there will be virtual programs for all ages.  The Library is planning a variety of ways to engage readers, including offering reading recommendations.  Library users will be able to request those recommendations – and anything else in the catalog – beginning June 15 when curbside pickup service expands to all users.

Library Director Susan Brown says that the choice to simplify was an intentional one and that the staff wanted to make sure that Summer Reading is uncomplicated, straightforward, and easy for everyone to participate. Brown notes, “We recognized that there is a lot of angst, stress, and mental fatigue amongst everyone right now, especially families.  We designed a program that celebrates the joys of reading and the diversity of our community.” 

For more information about Summer Reading, visit the Library’s website.  More information about the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library is on their website.
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