A bright and colorful children's center at the library encourages kids to have fun while reading in Plymouth, Michigan. (Photo via Shutterstock)
A bright and colorful children's center at the library encourages kids to have fun while reading in Plymouth, Michigan. (Photo via Shutterstock)

After going above and beyond for public library access during quarantine, Michigan librarians are pulling out all the stops for their largely virtual summer reading programs.

MICHIGAN — ‘Ganders can proudly say Michigan librarians have led efforts at home and across the nation to maximize access to public library resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, our librarians are going all-out on a tradition both kids and grown-ups look forward to each year: library summer games! 

This year, summer reading programs and games take on new meaning for families practicing social distancing while trying to find constructive entertainment solutions for kiddos who’ve been stuck at home for months now. 

And these summer library programs have so much to offer teens, parents and adults without any kids around, too — almost all of them welcome participants of all ages, and the prizes often range well beyond plastic parachuters and sticky hands. 

We’ve rounded up info on some of the state’s most fun, creative, active, boredom-busting summer programs residents can get in on right now. 

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Which Michigan Libraries Are Going All-Out This Summer? 

Ann Arbor District Library Summer Game | June 12 – August 30 

Use AADL this summer to find codes, solve puzzles, attend events and earn points toward tons of awesome prizes, all thanks to the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library. ( P.S. — You don’t need to have a library card to join in on AADL’s famous summer game, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.)

Baldwin Public Library | June 12 – August 8 

BPL’s Summer Reading Program includes fun virtual programs, crafts, and activities, while encouraging achievable reading goals for all ages. Like many Michigan libraries, BPL is taking their program 100% online this year, and their calendar is packed with special virtual events. 

Chelsea District Library Summer Reading Program | June 14 – July 31 

New for 2020, CDL’s Summer Reading Program takes on a theme: “Imagine Your Story.” Unlock the power of stories with fairytale-, folklore- and myth-inspired activities and virtual events! Check out their tremendous grand prizes for the biggest readers of the summer in each age category.

 East Lansing Public Library Summer Reading | June 8 – August 10

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, ELPL’s Summer Reading Program is going online. Participants will log their weekly reading activity in the library’s online program to earn entries to win one of many end-of-summer prizes. The more you read and record your reading, the more chances you have of winning a prize! 

Hackley Public Library | June 15 – August 15 

Like several Michigan libraries, HPL is using an online program called Beanstack this summer so participants can easily register online and track their reading and activity progress right from home. Hackley readers will have the chance to win some cool prizes, and you don’t even need to have a library card to participate!

Osceola Library System | June 1 – August 6

OLS librarians are pulling out all the stops this summer with live programs and storytimes, virtual escape rooms, cooking demos, trivia, special guests and, of course, the opportunity to earn prizes! Earn points for each activity and virtual event you attend. Each week the top three point earners will receive a prize. At the end of the summer there will be a grand prize for the two top earners!

Three Rivers Public Library | June 22 – August 8 

TRPL is operating its summer reading program for kids in two different ways this year: 1) For the online-only option, you will receive activity prompts every weekday morning at 10am on Facebook or over email. On Sundays, there will be a quick google form to fill out and then we will mail your prizes or coordinate pick-up. 2) For the box option, we will coordinate a pick-up time with you to get a Summer Reading box. Inside there are postcards that you can fill out and either mail back to the library or put in our drop box. The Summer Reading boxes also contain crafts and STEAM materials. Teens can come pick up cool bingo kits from the library and join live Zoom projects for chance to win! 

Ypsilanti District Library Summer Challenge | June 1 – August 31 

Each summer YDL challenges everyone to read, learn, and explore the community. You can earn online badges through on- and offline activities and chances to win themed prize baskets filled with goodies from local businesses. Each time you earn a badge, spend it toward a chance at winning a grand prize in the end-of-summer raffle. 

These are just a handful of the many awesome, engaging and super thoughtful programs and activities Michigan’s public librarians have put together for kids and grown-ups alike this summer. Don’t forget to look into what your local library is offering if it doesn’t appear on this list!

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