Summer of fun kicks off at the library

Published 10:52 am Friday, May 26, 2023


Summer break is finally here and with it comes the start of the Summer Reading Program. Each year, the Boyle County Public Library offers an 8-week literacy program for all ages that includes reading challenges, prizes, and fun activities to participate in. This year the theme is “All Together Now.” Throughout the summer, friendship-themed and summer camp-inspired programs will be held at BCPL and at the Jennie Rogers Community Center. With more than 90 free events to choose from, there is something for everyone.

The summer fun kicks off at the library on Wednesday, May 31 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Summer Reading Kick-Off Party. Patrons can stop by to enjoy an evening of fun and games. Food trucks will also be on site for anyone wanting to purchase a snack. Free activities include an inflatable obstacle course and giant slide, a bouncy house, temporary tattoos, and outdoor games. Patrons can pick up an events calendar and a Book Buddy plush reading pal, while supplies last. It is also a great time for new patrons to sign up for a library card.

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This summer the library is once again using the online platform called Beanstack to track reading progress, host reading challenges and conduct prize drawings. Beanstack is an easy-to-use, dynamic software that gamifies reading, making it very appealing to young readers by unlocking fun badges as users log their reading.

“Summer Reading is amazing because it makes reading over the summer even more fun,” said Mara Merchant, Youth Services Associate. “Being able to keep track of your reading habits and see things like badges, rewards, and raffle tickets pop up after keeping up a streak is so rewarding.”

It can also help reluctant readers see the fun in reading. Summer reading isn’t just for kids, however. All ages can register to participate.

“For adults, after a work day of reading emails and paperwork, coming home to read something for fun (and being rewarded for it) can be extremely fulfilling,” said Merchant.

This year the reading challenge is to read for 10 days and log reading progress on Beanstack. After reading enough days to complete the challenge, participants will earn a free book of their choice from the library’s prize book selection, plus earn raffle tickets to enter drawings for one of the prize bundles.

“Everyone always needs more books for their bookshelf, and picking out a prize book is a great way to find a hidden gem that you might not have read otherwise,” said Merchant.

Participants are encouraged to continue reading beyond their first challenge completion because the more times a person completes the reading challenge, the more free books they’ll earn and the more chances they’ll have to win one of the prize bundles at the end of the summer. Prizes include LEGO sets, a D&D bundle, a coffee bundle, art supplies, a portable record player, a drone, a giant plush goose, an 8-foot kayak and more. Photos of all the prize bundles can be found online at For a closer look, many prize items are on display in the library lobby.

Summer reading events are numerous and include interactive shows, book clubs, crafts, and STEM activities. Back again this year are Thursday FunDays, which will be held at the Jennie Rogers Community Center gymnasium. All ages are invited to JRCC every Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. in June and July to experience these special performances. Each week will feature something different such as musical guests, science shows, live animals, juggling, dance, and more. ASL interpretation will be available at these events. The Bookmobile will also be on site so attendees can check out materials before and after the show. Jana Oliver, the library’s Outreach Services Manager, shared that it is rewarding to see more children and families excited to come onto the Bookmobile to get books during the summer.

“When I was a child, I loved having the bookmobile stop at my house out in the country to bring me books,” said Oliver. “Now, our outreach staff is bringing that experience to a new generation.”

The first performance for Thursday FunDays will be held on June 1 with “Sound Explorers.” At this event, guests will hear 20 different instruments in a fun concert then get a closer look with an instrument petting zoo. This is the second year the library has offered Thursday FunDays as part of the summer events.

“Thursday FunDays are my favorite programs because we get to see so many people from the community attend,” said Kinsey Hisle, Youth Services Manager. “We see families, day camps, teens, adult groups – really a wide range of the wonderful people who make up our county.”

Hisle works hard to find new performers that patrons might not have seen before, and to find shows that encourage guests to learn and try new things. “These shows are aimed to be family-friendly, but can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to join us,” said Hisle. She is most excited about the Sound Explorers program because it is a rare chance to hear a live wind band play and the audience members get to go around to see the instruments up close.

“I love seeing the kids asking the musicians questions and handling the instruments for the very first time,” said Hisle.

On Friday evenings beginning June 9, the fun continues with Starlight Movie Nights. This summer movie series features family-friendly films shown on a large screen in the Library Park. Guests can come early at 8 p.m. for outdoor games, then set out blankets or lawn chairs to settle in with free popcorn and watch a movie under the stars. Movies start at dusk, which is typically around 9 p.m. The list of films is available on the library website. (Should inclement weather occur, the movie showing and games will be held inside the library.) Other events this summer include a visit from the Honey Hill Farm Animal Petting Zoo, a four-part fiction writing workshop for adults, a summer murder mystery, and weekly kid’s camps. Outdoor Storytime with Ms. Rachael will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. beginning June 6. An ASL interpreter will be available for all storytimes this summer.

Many of these special events are made possible through a community partnership with Danville-Boyle County Parks & Rec and with generous financial contributions and volunteer assistance from the Friends of the Library.

Participation in the Summer Reading Program through Beanstack begins on June 1, but patrons can join the program any time from June 1-July 31. All events are free and open to the public. Stop by the library to pick up a summer activities calendar and to view the prize bundles. For more information on how to register and to download a calendar of events, visit

Information about all upcoming events can be found online at The library is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Chat with library staff using the live chat service on the library’s website ,or by texting (859)-545-8398.