Summer Reading Program 2020: Revamped for Our New Normal

Ice cream, staying up late, drives at dusk, watermelon, and the Summer Reading Program are my family’s summer staples. The Summer Reading Program has been part of my summer experiences since I was a kid and even as a teen volunteer. I’ve also always made sure that it has been part of my own children’s summer. COVID-19 is not stopping us now! It certainly may be different this summer, but the power of pleasure reading and the fun of interactive activities and programs is still a great summer treat!

San Antonio Public Library 

The theme for SAPL’s 2020 Mayor’s Summer Reading Program is Imagine a World of Possibilities. There is something for kids, teens, and adults. You can register and print out a reading log at home. Kids programming includes our local Dinosaur George who will be doing a few fun, informative presentations about dinos. There will be a puppet show with some familiar librarian faces. There is a simple cooking session with a chef from the SA Food Bank. And there is so much more. So what’s the difference? No driving: YouTube and Zoom will bring these programs directly into your home.

Teen programming includes Instagram cooking/craft demos, challenges, and more. Teens can also sign up to join in on virtual hang out times on SAPL’s Discord server with additional programming. There are even weekly “Take and Make” crafts that can be picked up curbside from branch libraries. Crafts range from origami to scratch art.

We adults can get in on the fun with classes on yoga, meditation, nutrition, gaming, trivia, composting, and more. There are even online puzzles and virtual field trips for adults. Some activities require an additional free sign up online to get the Zoom code or link.

Boerne Patrick Heath Public Library

The theme is Around the World in 60 Days. Every week children can get a taste of different cultures as they travel from Israel to Greece and beyond. It can all be found on PHPL’s Facebook page where there will be some live events and some interactive activities including dancing, crafts, recipes and so much more! They are providing a few virtual author visits as well. Thought you couldn’t travel this summer? Well, here’s one way to see different parts of the world! The schedule can be found on this printable brochure.

There are also several activities for adults and teens that are either on that Facebook page or that you can call the library to reserve your spot and get the Zoom code for. In addition, this library is still providing some limited in-person activities. Every Thursday during this summer there is a musical performance at the library amphitheater. Families are encouraged to attend and remain together to allow for social distancing. Keep checking that Facebook page for updates if weather becomes an issue.

Joint Base San Antonio Libraries

If you are part of the military community, the JBSA Libraries Summer Reading Program will be virtual. The theme is Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover! There will be crafts, virtual field trips, and activities. Registration will give you additional information on how to earn virtual badges and at the end of summer there will be a free T-shirt giveaway. There are also Make and Take crafts provided at each base library location each week that can be picked up.

Universal City Library 

This city library has the theme Imagine Your Story. While this library is open, the Summer Reading Program is being done through adventure packets that can be picked up at the library and done at home. These contain family challenges, Lego challenges, crafts, and virtual performers. In addition, there is a partnership with a local walking group, Randolph Roadrunners, that provides ideas for family walks and journaling to go along with this. Registration can be done by emailing the number of children to [email protected] and adventure packets can be picked up curbside or inside. All patrons must wear a mask to enter the library.

Converse Public Library

This city library’s theme is also Imagine Your Story. This library is open with limited capacity. However, the library’s Summer Reading Program is being done through summer activity kits. These are passed out either curbside or can be picked up inside the library. They contain three weeks of crafts, reading logs, and an activity sheet. These are limited so make sure to have your library card or proof of residence of zip code 78109. This library has a great Facebook page that also does giveaways, crafts, and has great information. If you miss out on the activity kit, this Facebook page gives you so much of the information, activities, etc.

Schertz Public Library

You can register and print out your Experience Card at home. These cards provide spaces to mark your experiences and be entered for prizes. There is also virtual programming for children, teens, and adults. The event calendar is for all age events and sign-up is required for some virtual events. Virtual events include family game nights, storytelling, improv and more. Zoom and Go Meet will be utilized for virtual events.

New Braunfels Public Library

All activities are virtual and require pre-registration. This library is focusing on fairy tales and folktales with their Imagine Your Story theme. The calendar for their virtual events has events for children, teens, and adults. There is also a printable log for children and tweens/teens and a separate adult printable log. Take and Make activity bags are available each week for pre-K children, elementary-aged kids, tweens, or teens. These include crafts or stem activities and can be picked up inside the library or requested curbside.

Leon Valley Public Library

Keep checking their Facebook page for details! The library has virtual programming and reading logs to win prizes. By the way, the library staff does a great job of creating their own videos!

Garden Ridge Public Library

This library has moved from a paper reading log to using the app Reading Zone. Children can log their reading and visit the library on Thursdays to pick up prizes. There will be in-person activities on Thursdays as well. Parents are encouraged to call ahead and reserve a time slot for Thursday activities in order to comply with limited capacity in the library.

I must say that each library is doing a great job providing so much online and virtual resources for children and adults. Beyond the Summer Reading Program materials and activities, I can get lost in all the wonderfulness that library staff has compiled to keep us reading, learning, and entertained while we spend more time at home. I’m content in knowing that at least my family’s summer staple of library fun is still available and awesome as always!

Texas born, small town girl who always felt like I had lived other lives in other places. I went off to college and somehow ended up in beautiful San Antonio. I met my future husband who had lived other lives in other places. After getting married, we moved out of state. Once we had our little souvenir, we moved back to Texas with a baby boy. Later, we added a daughter to complete the family. I work full-time as a school librarian and, on occasion, find time to do a little traveling and a little sleeping.