Community Library Reopen

The Community Library in Ketchum has been closed to the public for more than a month.

Summer Reading normally doesn’t get going until the end of May or beginning of June, but it’s never too early to start. The Community Library will officially kick-off Summer Reading on June 1, but those children and teens who want a head start can this Sunday, May 10.

The library’s Summer Reading program is open to all children from kindergarten right up through to 12th grade, although things run a little differently for the teens. Students sign up, read to their heart’s content, log their progress, and then enter for a chance to win a grand prize.

Joining in May instead of June provides each participant with an extra raffle ticket as well as eligibility for some additional prizes. Regardless of starting in May or June, every child (K-6) who reads for more than 500 minutes and every teen who reads more than 100 pages will receive a $10 gift card to a local bookstore.

In response to the disruption of COVID-19, the library’s Summer Reading program will be fully remote this year. Children can sign up online at comlib.org or by calling 208-726-3493. Students may submit their reading reports online, by phone, or by emailing summerreading@comlib.org.

“We’re just trying to keep kids and teens reading not only during the summer when they’re out of school, but also during this interim period of life,” said Children’s and Teen Services Director DeAnn Campbell. “Kids are still in school now, but they’re also at home. They should be reading for classes, but we’re just giving them an extra incentive.”

Both the Hailey Public Library and the Bellevue Public Library also organize summer reading programs, and Campbell encouraged kids in those towns to participate in those programs, but also says that The Community Library is open to everyone. Moving online eliminates any geographic limitations and makes the whole program more accessible.

“We’ve actually been wanting it to move online for years but never really knew how to implement it,” Campbell said. “This situation has forced our hand.”

The Bloom Truck will also be making its rounds this summer, she said, bringing meals and books to kids all over Blaine County. The logistics and timing of that have yet to be determined, though, and will likely have to be modified to accommodate health considerations.

“Regardless of these alterations, the main priority remains literacy,” Campbell said. “We hope kids take the time to read and fall in love with reading—if they haven’t already.”

Kids can start signing up this weekend, with books and audiobooks available in digital formats online or for curbside pickup. Learn more at comlib.org.

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