Blakesburg Public Library Summer Reading Program begins July 1 | Local News

BLAKESBURG — The Blakesburg Public Library Summer Reading Program, “Beyond the Beaten Path,” kicks off Friday, July 1, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 6.

The theme this year encourages readers of all ages to move beyond their normal reading routine and explore new genres and new spaces in which to read, including the great outdoors. In keeping with an outdoor exploration/camping theme, many crafts, stories and activities have been planned, including events to benefit Heartland Humane Society. A weekly schedule of events for all ages will be posted on the library’s Facebook Page and be listed in the library’s web page calendar.

To encourage participation in the reading program, an anonymous donor will give one penny to the Heartland Humane Society for every minute read during the summer reading program, up to $100. The donor is issuing a challenge for another donor (or two) to match their donation for this worthy cause. In addition, the library will be accepting donations of items for the Heartland Humane Society. In return, the organization will be sending visitors to a library program to share information about the many services it provides for our furry friends.

Heartland Humane Society is always in need of tax-deductible cash donations, but for those who would like to donate items, they always need the following materials for dogs: Purina puppy chow, adult dog food, squeaky toys, tennis balls, Kongs and Kuranda dog beds. For cats, the center needs: adult cat food, kitty litter, toy mice and balls, Kuranda cat beds and sisal rope scratching posts. In addition, the society can always use bleach, powdered laundry soap and exam gloves in sizes medium or large. Any of these donations can be left at the library, and they will be given to Heartland along with a check for participants’ reading minutes.

BPL Director Cheryl Talbert noted that the library is starting its summer reading program a little later than usual this year because it didn’t want to interfere with baseball and softball season. Now that the ball season is winding down and a new school year will be here before long, it is important for children to read so they don’t suffer from a summer slide in their reading ability.

The Summer Reading Program associates reading with fun activities and incentives to earn prizes while keeping kids engaged in reading. Program participants will track the number of minutes they spend reading and earn prizes for hitting milestones. In addition, they will be recognized at the end of the program.

Parents or caretakers can read to very young children, and the books they read can be counted toward the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” total if they are participating in that library program as well.

Residents who do not have a library card can visit the library from 5:30-8 pm Monday through Thursday, or 8 am to 1 pm Friday and Saturday. An application for a library card can be accessed on the library’s web site at

In addition to books, videos, audio book and magazines, the library provides access to board games, Legos, electronics kits, puzzles, craft materials, computers, two early childhood learning system computers, a color printer, FAX machine, scanning, copying, and downloadable e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines and streaming video. For more information, see the library’s website at


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