Library’s summer reading challenge: ‘Build better world’

Most of us have annual traditions that we look forward to each summer. For some, those traditions including sleeping in, spending time around the pool, cooking out, or taking a vacation.

For me, summer is time to relax from the hectic school year routine and catch up on my reading. Part of the fun in tackling the stack of books that I’ve accumulated is participating in the Bartholomew County Public Library’s annual summer reading program.

The summer reading program is taking on a new look this year. In the past, the library has had a mostly online summer reading program in which participants logged a certain number of minutes or books to earn a prize.

The theme for the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge is “Build a Better World.” In keeping with that theme, your library is going offline and challenges you to challenge yourself in improving yourself and your community.

Adult and teen patrons will have several bingo-style challenge cards from which to choose. Challenges vary from volunteering in the community to visiting historic landmarks. Take a “selfie” at your favorite public sculpture or try one of the library’s electronic resources. Wondering where the reading went? Reading challenges are on the cards, too. You can read to someone else, try a new genre or format, or read for an hour.

Children up through sixth grade also will have several challenge cards from which to choose. Challenges include reading for 250 minutes, checking out a book to learn a new skill, or attending a library program.

Challenge cards for all ages are redeemable for prizes such as a free book, free food coupons or a discount certificate from a local business.

Want to challenge yourself more than once? Pick another challenge card and complete it to earn another prize. Each completed challenge card can be entered in the drawing for the grand prize of a $100 gift certificate for each age category.

Participants of all ages can attend library programs for a chance to win prizes such as tickets to King’s Island, Big Splash, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Columbus Area Visitors Center tour passes and much more.

Exciting programs such as Couponing with the Queen of Free, the Inventive Princess of Floralee and Yoga on the Plaza take place in May. Join the Summer Reading Celebration on June 5 featuring the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, life-size games, story stations, library tours and more. Check out for events all summer long.

Want to make a difference close to home? In June, we will have Food for Fines. In July, donate new, in-the-package underwear and diapers.

Want to find a place to volunteer? Stop by the library and pick up a list of agencies in need of volunteers. Donating blood is also an option. The Red Cross will conduct a blood drive at the library in July.

So, when does all this fun begin? Pick up challenge cards beginning Saturday. Cards will be available at the Main library, Hope Branch Library and at the library’s booth at the Literacy Festival from noon to 3 p.m. May 14 at Central Middle School, 725 Seventh St. in Columbus. Challenge cards will be available on the Bookmobile beginning May 15. Redeem your cards in person at any library location beginning May 15.

Build a better world with your library this summer.

Sandy Allman is a reference assistant at the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at