Cedar Rapids library kicks off summer reading program with Circus Party Saturday

Paloma Bribriesco, 6, skims a book about velociraptors as she looks for more books to take home in the children’s non-fiction section with her mother Jasmine Hernandez at the downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library on Dec. 27, 2021. The library’s summer reading program kicks off Saturday at the Ladd Library. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

School is out so the unofficial start of summer has begun. That means that libraries are starting their summer reading programs to encourage children — and adults — to keep reading throughout the summer.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library kicks off its 2022 Summer Dare program Saturday with a celebratory Circus Party from 10 a.m. to noon at its Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW. There will be circus games, balloons and more. Both children and adults can sign up for a library card if they don’t already have one.

Complete the reading program by logging 600 minutes of reading by July 30 to earn a coupon for a free book. Register through the Beanstack app or at CRLibrary.beanstack.org.

The library will continue its regular early learning story times and Moother Goose on the Loose. It also will hold special themed activities every Thursday and Saturday with details at CRLibrary.org/events

“We’re trying a new approach to children and family programs at the library this summer, with broader, experience-based programs. Instead of coming at set times, it’s more do at your own pace and comfort level within the time frame, with multiple points spread out around the building,” said Kevin Delecki, library programming manager. “We want an intergenerational, experiential summer learning program, with literacy baked into each activity.”

The library’s Mobile Technology Lab is back after its debut last summer. Loaded with technology like programmable robots, circuit building kits, and other activities designed to teach kids about coding and engineering, the library’s tech-mobile will visit six parks alongside the city’s Rollin’ RecMobile, five days a week, from June 6 to Aug. 12:

  • Mondays (except July 4): 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Redmond Park, 1545 Third Ave. SE
  • Mondays (except July 4): 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Jacolyn Park, 198 Jacolyn Dr. NW
  • Tuesdays: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Hayes Park, 1924 D St. SW
  • Wednesdays: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Cleveland Park, 1600 Eighth Ave. SW
  • Thursday: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Bowman Woods Park, 141 Boyson Rd. NE
  • Fridays: 9:30-11:30 a.m. — Bever Park, 2700 Bever Ave. SE

This summer the van also will have a specially curated collection of books for kids, available to borrow at the parks all summer. People also will be able to sign up for a library card on the spot if they don’t have one.

Area libraries

Other area libraries are starting their summer reading programs as well.

Hiawatha Public Library’s Read Beyond the Beaten Path, hiawathapubliclibrary.libnet.info/10414. The program encourages children and adults to track their reading and mark off a badge each time they meet their goal, earning rewards. The program runs through July 30.

Marion Public Library’s Read Beyond the Beaten Path, marionpubliclibrary.org/summer-library-program. The library is holding a number of events, including scavenger hunts and craft events, some of which require registration.

Iowa City’s Public Library’s summer reading program Off the Beaten Path, runs through Aug. 14. Registration can be completed at the library or Bookmoble or online via Beanstack. Completed entries submitted to the library will be put into a drawing for prizes.

The library will provide opportunities for all ages to explore beyond the beaten path at free and fun library events throughout the summer. Programs include a visit from the Iowa State University Insect Zoo, Felted Animal DIY, the Great LEGO Pride Build, Bookmobile activities at Iowa City Farmers Market, Photoshop for Beginners, BYOBook, and more. For more information visit this site.

Cedar Rapids library kicks off summer reading program with Circus Party Saturday

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