Research shows that reading in the summer helps students avoid the ‘summer slide’ of skills, so the Oceans of Possibilities Summer Challenge offers a fun way to encourage reading. Adults can register children, from babies through seniors in high school, by using the READsquared app or at The summer reading kickoff is June 1 at 10:30 a.m. when Mr. Larry Magic presents An Ocean Commotion in the Nan Abbott Room (families must sign up at The kickoff will also be live streamed on the library’s Facebook page.

The seven-week Summer Challenge will include entertaining and educational programs, prizes, and surprises. Programs include acting workshops, animal visits, and Alabama history; crafts, culture, and cooking; magicians and musicians; scientists, story tellers, and sundaes.

Weekly programs and story times are:

  • Drama Workshop for kids ages 8 to 15 years old, Tuesday evenings in June and July.
    *Participants must be registered for the Summer Challenge in order to sign up for the workshop.
  • Ship to Shore: Stories & More on Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m.
  • Toddler Tales on Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
  • Sensory Story Time on second and fourth Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m.

This summer, the Summer Challenge includes a new online component called 20,000 Books Under the Sea on READsquared! Children and caregivers are transformed into storyologists when they join Page Turner and Kenny on an interactive quest to discover the Lost Library of Atlantis. Along the way, they explore coral reefs, the Bermuda Triangle, Arctic waters, and the great Pacific garbage patch! Filled with fascinating facts and fabulous fiction, this adventure is designed to educate kids about oceans while inspiring them to read books and visit the library.

In an effort to keep adults engaged, there will also be an Adult Summer Reading Program. Adults can read books and enter weekly prize drawings for gift cards and goodies for several local restaurants and activities. There are also Missions (challenges) including genre trekking and engaging the library. Completing these tasks will serve as an entry for another prize drawing at the end of the program. The same registration is required and dates applied as for the Kids and Teen programs. Other adults programs include storyteller Dolores Hydock, a bath bomb preparation program, and a watercolor class (schedules TBA).

In a pull-out box: From April through June, The Friends of the Library are partnering with Interstellar Ginger Beer Exploration Co. to provide two select beers whose purchase will benefit the library’s building fund.