It’s a common inquiry at the grocery store, but it also might be more common at Kansas libraries in the future as more readers download summer adventures to their tablets and e-readers.
As the Ottawa Library and others across the state launch their annual summer reading programs, kids and adults alike might be considering which books to put at the top of their summer reading lists. The “Groundbreaking Reads” available in the adult program section in Ottawa are expected to include such special events as an opportunity to build a terrarium, learn how to use Facebook, a Pinterest party where participants can share their favorite ideas from the social media site, plus a local author visit. Participants also can earn prizes and conclude the summer program in late July with a Make Your Own Sundae party.
If that sounds like fun, just imagine the places those readers will go when they open the pages of all the books they’ll read this summer. Some of the library’s most voracious readers want even more books in the summer than they can carry — and now they have another option to satisfy their reading appetite. The Kansas State Library allows people to download — a new form of “check out” — a book directly to a computer or mobile device so readers can read the novel they’ve been waiting for on computers, tablets or such e-readers as Nook and Kindle Fire. The cost for the “Freading” e-books program is — wait for it — nothing. A visit to your local library to obtain a free Kansas Library Card is the first step in using technology to download books for up to two weeks. The library’s staff can assist users on how to download the books too.
Of course, not all great summer reads are available online. The Parade magazine supplement tucked inside today’s Herald profiles master storyteller Stephen King about his new novel “Joyland.” The much-anticipated book won’t be available online because its eccentric author wants it to be enjoyed in its more tactile form, as a traditional book. Clearly King digs reading and he wants to foster that in others too.
Local kids can themselves dig into reading this summer, beginning with the Ottawa Library’s summer kick-off event 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 3 in the library’s parking lot, 105 S. Hickory St. Besides all the usual prizes for reaching reading milestones, kids also can dig into weekly entomology projects as well as family gardening and make-and-take craft projects too — but first kids have to sign-up for the program. (For more on the summer reading program, See Page 9 in today’s Herald.)
Whether your preference is on screen or in print, take advantage of the many free reading opportunities this summer to send you and your family to places and experiences that will exceed your expectations.
— Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher