St. Catharines library launches Summer Reading Club with emphasis on fun, not format

The St. Catharines Public Library is inviting everyone to join the club.

The library is launching its annual Summer Reading Club Saturday for all ages and it’s not fussy about what participants choose to read.

“E-books, audio books, the traditional hard covers and paperbacks, graphic novels, comic books, anything,” said Sam Walker, programming librarian.

“As long as they’re reading and having fun reading, it counts.”

The club, which aims to keep people reading through the summer when there tends to be a downward trend, is for both the “reluctant reader” and the book-a-day devourer.

“This club is made to appeal to people of all reading skill levels,” Walker said. “Even if they are reluctant readers, or they’re just not sure, or are reading different formats though audiobooks, they can do it at their own pace and read as they need or want to.”

The Summer Reading Club lets participants track how many days they spend reading using READsquared online or going in person to the library.

Participants get points for days they spend reading — whether 15 minutes or several hours — that are put towards raffle tickets for prizes like gift cards, toys and activities.

Members can also track their progress by making a reading club necklace by picking up a beads from the library, one for every day of reading with special milestone beads.

Last year, the club was primarily online and about 520 people participated.

The library is expecting higher numbers this year because of the in-person option and because more people are comfortable coming into the library now than earlier in the pandemic.

Walker said as with all things COVID-19 related, there was a bit of a dip in participation in 2020 and they’ve slowly been building that back up to pre-pandemic levels.

“Recently we did a winter reading club in January and February and we had an almost overwhelming response of positivity from families and individuals that came back to reading and came back to reading together,” she said.

“We’re hoping that carries forward this summer as well.”

While a lot of interactive elements might appeal more to children or teens, the club is for readers of all ages.

“We’re especially encouraging adults to participate since they are role models for their kids. They can read as a family, they can read to their children or their kids can read to them,” Walker said.

“If they can grab a book to take to the beach and chill out at some point, they can log their own reading as well.”

People interested in participating can go to to register, go on the READsquared app or go into a library branch to fill out a ballot.


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