Off the Shelf: Building summertime memories

Summer always meant two things for me as a child: coming to visit my mom here on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula and participating in the library’s summer reading program.

It has changed from the days when I read as many books as I could with the goal of earning a trinket or the praise of my favorite librarian.

While encouraging children to read is still the focus of the program, it now includes many enriching and exciting programs to attend at the library.

As a child, the summer reading program provided structure to an otherwise free-for-all vacation from school and gave me permission to get lost in a book, or teach myself how to speak American Sign Language or German, with the bonus of a coveted prize. It kept me reading all summer long, which helped prevent the “summer slide” — the learning loss that often occurs in children who do not read during the summer.

Library summer reading programs have been shown to help alleviate the “summer slide” by providing access to books and enrichment activities, and encouraging young people to keep reading.

The North Olympic Library System’s Summer Reading Program (SRP) is exciting for all ages, educational, entertaining and in full swing now! The SRP provides incentive to read with the possibility of earning prizes, but it also provides magic, music, science, movement and community as the 2017 SRP theme encourages readers to Build a Better World.

The Reading Challenge

Kids and adults can sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge at any NOLS location and receive a free book. For every 15 days you read or are read to, you will receive a ticket for a grand prize drawing held at the end of the Summer Reading Program.

An additional ticket can be earned for every 15 days you read through Aug. 19. If you read for 30 days, you can earn a free NOLS Summer Reading Challenge T-shirt.

Upcoming events

Throughout the summer, the library provides fun programs for kids like Joshua J. Superstar who will combine comedy, nail-biting stunts and audience participation at the Sequim Library this Friday, July 7.

Musician Mo Phillips will perform on July 25 and the Duoc Su Lion Dancers on Aug. 1.

This year, NOLS is excited to offer Escape Room Challenge: Zombie Apocalypse for teens on Aug. 11 from 6-8 p.m. The event is sure to be a big hit as teens work to find clues, solve puzzles and break codes to retrieve the zombie anti-virus! An outdoor concert series will be held on Fridays at 6 p.m. from Aug. 11-25. The Blue Rhinos, Geoffrey Castle and Joy in Mudville will all be performing.

More information

The Summer Reading Program is generously supported by the Friends of the Library at all four NOLS libraries.

For more information about events happening this summer, visit or call 683-1161. The Sequim Library is at 630 N. Sequim Ave.

Leslie Briggance is a customer service specialist with the North Olympic Library System.

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