‘Universe of Stories’ theme will shine this summer at library

During our Summer Reading Challenge in 2017, our theme was “Build a Better World.” Many of our events centered on that subject.

Last summer during Libraries Rock!, we definitely rocked it out with concerts, various rock-themed programs and, of course, book reading.

This summer, we invite you to experience “A Universe of Stories.”

This theme, chosen by the committee comprising the Collaborative Summer Library Program, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Beginning May 20, challenges, fun times and prizes await all ages who take part in our Summer Reading Challenge.

Once again, we are delighted to bring you Summer Celebrations in Columbus and Hope.

Bouncy houses, story stations, face painting, henna art, rocket making, games, popcorn and Popsicles, music with Keith Maddox and more are planned for the Columbus Celebration from 5 to 6:30 p.m. June 3. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather because lots of these activities, including visiting with Lottie the Great Dane and hopping on the Bookmobile, take place outside.

Good weather is also a plus for the Hope Celebration from 4:30 — 6 p.m. June 5 on the Town Square. Enjoy games with the Yellow Trail Museum, face painting, rocket making, a bouncy house, hot dogs and root beer floats. You can also visit on the Book Express and say howdy to Lottie the Great Dane.

Both celebrations provide the opportunity to learn about how to get involved in “A Universe of Stories.”

A selection of books, food coupons and other surprises are given to those who complete challenge cards.

In years past, at the conclusion of Summer Reading, we randomly selected grand prize winners from those who had completed their reading challenges.

This summer, we all work together to reach a community goal of donating an incubator to our friends at Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators.

Speaking of friends, Summer Reading is made possible through our Friends of the Bartholomew County Public Library. Other friends include the Reeves Foundation Inc., Landmark Farm Foundation Inc., Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, The Commons, Johnson-Witkemper Inc. and others.

In addition to encouraging reading during the summer, we invite you to discover a universe of events at your libraries.

Space-themed programs, classic science fiction films, a visit to the L.S. Noblitt Planetarium, a Neil Armstrong re-enactor, and a ton of other exciting programs are waiting for you this summer. Oh, we have not forgotten to schedule some concerts for you also!

Plaza concerts include The Tempos for another great Global Beatles Day, The Reunion Band, The Banisters and Colin G. Matthews, the Violin Man. Louie Green is the organizer for Original Artistry Saturday events on the Plaza on June 15 and July 20.

Indoors, on June 8, you can listen to the songs of World War II.

On June 25 at The Commons, award-winning musician and author Jim Gill brings us his Campaign for Play.

Other events revolve around the 50th anniversary of our building in Columbus, whose official name is the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library. You will notice quite a few Cleo Turns 50 specials over the next several months.

We wish you a great summer and invite you to great times at your library!

Mary Clare Speckner, community services coordinator at the Bartholomew County Public Library, can be reached at [email protected].