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June 8, 2010 > Alameda County Library News: Summer at the library

Alameda County Library News: Summer at the library

By Patricia Ryan

School is out - what are you going to do with the kids? This is a very special time at Tri-City Libraries. Every summer libraries all over the world kick into high gear with a Summer Reading Game and programs of all kinds. Alameda County Library's 2010 Summer Reading Game for children is Make a Splash! Read!

Starting Monday, June 7th, children can come into their favorite Library Branch to sign up and get a game board. Even pre-readers can play, and if an older child or parent reads to a younger child, both can count the time. For every 30 minutes spent in reading, color one droplet on the game board. Then bring the board in to the Library, any time between June 14 and August 14, and start spinning and stamping the path on the game board. Halfway along the path, you win! And if you continue to play and stamp the entire path, you win more prizes.

But that's not all! Teens have their own Teen Summer Reading Program, Make Waves at Your Library. Teen readers will also get prizes for time spent reading books like those on the list of suggested reading. Even adults can participate in Female Sleuths reading program. Read any book with a female sleuth, and enter a drawing at your local Branch Library for weekly prizes. Participants can win one time only. Come to any Alameda County Library branch to have fun, read, and win! Bookmobile will also be playing the games at all stops during the summer.

Middle school students can earn community service hours as KidPower volunteers. Contact your nearest branch or the Library website at for dates and times. Orientations and trainings are usually held in late May and early June. KidPower kids commit to work a minimum number of hours over the summer helping other kids sign up for and play the reading game. They also help with other programs over the summer, while having fun and making new friends. Library staff couldn't do it without our volunteers, and really appreciate the help.

No matter what your age, or which reading program you participate in, you might win prizes, but the best prize of all is the never ending, always changing, adventure of reading. Don't have a Library card? You don't really need one to use the Library, but it's easy to get one and it can open up all kinds of doors for you. You can check out books, magazines, books on CD, DVDs, and use our Internet computers. When you access the Library's website,, in the Library or from home, you can also use databases full of a wealth of information.

Be sure to check the Library website for listings of all the special family programs scheduled at Alameda County Libraries this summer. There are magicians, musicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, story tellers, puppets and craft programs scheduled for your enjoyment, and like all Library programs, they are free! Although you don't have to buy a ticket, sometimes space is limited so you might have to sign up ahead of time to make sure you can get in. In addition to the fun programs, Alameda County Library branches offer a wide variety of story times for all ages, book sales, family games, lawyer-in-the-library services, parenting classes, book discussion groups, workshops on a wide range of subjects, knitting, crochet, business and job related programs, and a special program at the Fremont Main Library, Read to Succeed, with High School volunteers helping students in grades 1-7 improve their reading skills and comprehension. There's something for everyone at the Alameda County Library branches!

Summer programs and prizes are sponsored by the Alameda County Library, with the generous assistance of the Alameda County Library Foundation, Chabot Space and Science Center, Charles M. Schulz Museum, Lawrence Hall of Science, MOCHA -The Museum of Children's Art, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, U.S. Bank as well as Oracle and the San Francisco Giants.

Patricia Ryan is the Children's Services Librarian at Union City Library.

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