If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a bibliophile – someone who is obsessed with books. I always have been.
The summer used to be one of my favorite times because my mom would take us to the library at least once a week. I would scour the shelves for my favorite books: travel guides (yes, I was a geek at a young age), mythology compilations, fantasy and sci-fi novels, and manga. And man, would I crush the summer reading programs. I always maxed out the reading logs. I always won a prize. One year, I was even invited to a pizza party for the top 20 readers of the summer!
As a mother of two young kids, we’ve been participating in summer reading programs for years. Last year was so disappointing because of COVID – it was hard to access library books that weren’t on the app.
But now that the library is open to the public again, we are so stoked for Wichita Public Library’s 2021 Summer Reading Program.
Summer Reading 2021: Tails and Tales
Explore, create and learn this summer at the Wichita Public Library! We’ll explore “Tails and Tales” with the Summer Reading Program June 1-July 29, 2021. Read books, win cool prizes and participate in exciting programs both virtually and in person.
Reading logs are divided by age groups:
- Baby Bookworms Ages 0-2
- Kids Read Ages 3-11
- Teens Read Ages 12-18
Use the Library’s reading app, Beanstack, to track your progress from your smartphone or tablet.
The more you read, the more prizes you earn! Prizes will be available for pickup at your Wichita Public Library location beginning July 1.
Note: the Evergreen Branch Library will not be a prize pickup location this year due to its limited service model during renovations.
Check below to look at all the amazing, fun programs, events, activities, and more during the summer.
- Reading Logs
- Virtual Storytime
- Live at the Park! Concerts
- Bookmark Competition
- Virtual Programs on Vimeo
- Teen Library Ambassador
- Summer Events
Baby Bookworms (ages 0-2)
Explore early learning activities that create young readers with the Baby Bookworms program. These activities include fun ideas for talking, singing, reading to and playing with your little one. Complete 15 activities on the attached sheet to earn prizes.
Kids Read (ages 3-11)
The more you read, the more prizes you receive this summer. Download the reading log below and color in or place a sticker each time you complete a reading milestone. When you get to “prize time,” stop by the Library to redeem!
Teens Read (ages 12-18)
Spend your summer reading and exploring at the Library. Download the reading log below and color in or place a sticker each time you complete a reading milestone. When you get to “prize time,” stop by the Library to redeem!
Story times are back this summer! Fill out our story time signup form to get access to the summer series of virtual story times.
Log in and have fun with books! Children ages 3-5 will love our virtual Preschool Storytime, which incorporates singing, dancing, and stories. Register once and get access all summer to this program series – visit wichitalibrary.org/summerreading and we will send you the link and password.
Nursery Rhyme Time
Log in and learn! Children aged 2 and under will love our virtual Nursery Rhyme Time, which incorporates singing, dancing, and simple stories. Caregivers will learn tips to encourage their child’s language skills. Registration begins on June 1. Once registered, you will get access all summer to this program series – visit wichitalibrary.org/summerreading and we will send you the link and password.
Cuentos Bilingües/Bilingual Preschool Storytime
Every Other Thursday @10:00
Log in and learn! Whether you want to expose your children to another language or they already hear it in the home, enjoy a unique storytime presented in both English & Spanish for children aged 3-5. Registration begins on June 1. Once registered, you will get access all summer to this program series – visit wichitalibrary.org/summerreading and we will send you the link and password.
Enjoy lively music and foot-tapping fun at our free children’s concert series this summer. Concerts are 10:30 a.m. at Naftzger Park (102 S. St. Francis Ave.) and 3 p.m. at Clapp Park (4611 E. Harry St.).
- June 7: Mr. Stinky Feet (Jim Cosgrove)
- June 14: Flying Debris (Richard Holmgren)
- June 21: Sugar Free All Stars
- July 12: Will Parker
- July 26: Pint Size Polka
Bring your blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy the sunshine while listening to fun and educational music. If inclement weather is forecasted, call (316) 261-8500 or visit this page for details.
The Friends of the Wichita Public Library invites kids and teens of all ages to submit artwork for a bookmark competition this summer. Draw your creation on a 2″ wide X 8.5″ tall sheet of paper and turn it into your Library location by Friday, July 16 at 5 p.m. Winning bookmarks will be printed and handed out to Friends bookstore shoppers and members, and available at Library locations. Include your name, phone number and email address on the back of your paper.
Want even more FREE virtual programs you can access throughout the summer? Sign up for a Vimeo access code and stream fun and educational programs for kids from our partners and performers.
Teen Library Ambassador Program
Want to help your community, but don’t know how? Volunteer at the Library this summer as a Teen Library Ambassador!
The Teen Library Ambassador program is a little different than our usual Summer Reading volunteers. It is a fully virtual volunteer experience – no rides to the library required! Teens will work on creative content to promote library collections (like books, audiobooks, and graphic novels to name a few), library services, and library events to their friends and families. Some will even be posted to our official library social media! You’ll also meet other teens in our private program Discord server and assist the Teen Services Librarian with important tasks.
Volunteering with the library is a fun way to get experience that looks good on a college application or resume! If your school or club requires community service hours, volunteering at the Library could help you meet those goals.
What do Teen Library Ambassador volunteers do for the Library?
- Write interesting book reviews to entice teens to read something new
- Take well composed photographs on your own smartphone or device to be used for Wichita Public Library media content
- Create unique art to illustrate your favorite teen book events or library locations which can be featured at the library or on the library website or social media
- Create creative content that can be posted to the Wichita Public Library’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Use your own social media to promote the use of the Wichita Public Library to your friends and family
What you need to know:
- To volunteer, you must be entering grades 8-12 in the fall. You also must be at least 13 years old by June 1, 2021.
- You must be dependable and good at communicating online.
- You must be good at working on your own and completing projects with a rubric or instructions to guide you.
- Ask your parent or guardian for permission.
- You will be expected to complete about 2-4 volunteer hours per week in the program, and at least 16 volunteer hours total over the course of the program.
- Be available to volunteer online between June 1 to August 2. (let us know on the application if you have a camp or vacation scheduled during this time)
Pantry STEAM Series
Let’s make some pantry STEAM! Join us every other week for a video featuring a fun, educational activity that can be done with supplies and ingredients found in the everyday kitchen. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. For grades 3 through 5.
This program will be held online via Zoom.
Teen Topics Series
These are online discussions on Wednesdays for teens ages 12-18. Registration is required; call 261-8500 or register online. This program will be held online via Zoom.
Teen Take and Make Series
It’s dangerous to go alone – collect supplies and log on to Zoom to craft and chat together! Each week we’ll put together something different. For teens ages 12-18. Registration is required; call 261-8500 or register online. This program will be held online via Zoom.
Chalk the Sidewalk Series
Complete a sidewalk chalk obstacle course in this outdoor come-and-go event. Bring your own chalk, or ask for a piece to add your own masterpiece in the free-draw area. Registration is not required, but social distancing guidelines must be observed. This event is weather dependent, please call the Rockwell Branch Library on the morning of the event to verify in case of inclement weather. Ages 2-6.
Monkey Tales Storytime with Ms. Anne
Every other Friday, sing, dance, learn and laugh with Ms. Anne and Monkey during this 30-minute interactive monkey themed storytime for children ages 2-8 years. Anne with Lively Minds Consulting is bringing some tail-swinging fun to the library this summer to celebrate tails and tales! Registration is required. Call (316) 337-9456 or visit wichitalibrary.org/events to register. This program will be held online via Zoom. A link to the program will be sent to your inbox the day before and the day of the program.
Tanganyika Animal Ambassadors
Thursday, June 3 @2:30pm and Tuesday, June 22 @10:30
Meet some animal friends who live at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Children will learn about these creatures, including their natural habitat, how they live, and what makes them unique. For children ages 3-11.
The Tail of the Kite
Tuesday, June 8 @2:30pm
Why do kites have tails? Build your own kite from a take home kit and experiment to find out! After you’ve made your kites bring them to the park beside Rockwell Branch Library to show them off and let them fly (weather permitting). For ages 5+. Registration is required to receive a kit. Kits will be available one week before program date. Register online at wichitalibrary.org/events or by phone at 688-9361.
Pillowcase Project with the American Red Cross
Tues, June 15 @2:30pm
Learn about how you and your family can prepare for a natural disaster by creating a Pillowcase Project. Using an ordinary pillowcase (or other bag), you will discover what goes inside your personal emergency supply kit that will keep you safe and disaster-ready. Be prepared to “Learn, Practice, and Share” your survival skills. For children ages 8-11 and their families. Presented by Diane Caton on behalf of the American Red Cross.
The Best (and Worst) of Beasts with Priscilla Howe
Fri, June 18 @10:00am
Why do dogs chase cats? Why do cats eat mice? Should a chicken marry a cockroach? Storyteller Priscilla Howe brings out her favorite animal tales, puppets, songs and stretches. Quack, snort, oink and more! Ages 3-11. Registration is required; call 261-8500 or register at wichitalibrary.org/events. This program will be held online via Zoom. A link to the program will be sent to your inbox the day before and the day of the program.
Wed, June 23 @2:00pm or 3:15pm
Prepare to get messy with these explosive science experiments! This will be an outdoor program for ages 8-11 and is weather dependent. In case of inclement weather call the Rockwell Branch Library the morning of the program to verify. Registration is required either online at wichitalibrary.org/events or by phone at 688-9361.
Draw Along with Kyle Tiernan
Wed, July 7 @2:30pm
Kids. grab your favorite drawing supplies and get ready for an all-out Art Adventure with children’s artist and illustrator Kyle Tiernan! This one-of-a-kind, hilariously engaging, “draw-along” style program will have you doing all sorts of crazy stuff with Kyle as you follow along step-by-step through a series of whimsical, fun, and creative drawing lessons. Using Kyle’s famous “triple modality teaching methods,” you’ll complete 2-3 refrigerator-ready illustrations during the program and learn all sorts of tips, tricks, and techniques you can apply to your own artwork. Presented entirely live, virtually, via Zoom, it’s the perfect way to relax and engage your imagination! Kyle’s lessons have been designed and time tested over the past 17-years and are the perfect fit for children ages 5-12! (Families, parents, and caregivers are all encouraged to draw, too!) Registration is required. Call (316) 261-8500 or visit wichitalibrary.org/events to register. This program will be held online via Zoom. A link to the program will be sent to your inbox the day before and the day of the program.
Thurs, July 8 @2:30pm
Bring a blanket to sit on and be ready to shout BINGO! Children 8-11 will create their own Library-themed BINGO cards for this outdoors event in the Rockwell courtyard. This event will be weather dependent; in the case of inclement weather, call the Rockwell Branch Library the morning of the event to verify. Registration required, either online through wichitalibrary.org/events or by phone at 688-9361.
Cereal Box Collage with Michael Albert
Fri, July 16 @2:30pm
Turn your old cereal boxes and other scrap paper into a magnificent collage. Artist Michael Albert is a collage artist who will explain how to make a work of art from the simplest of materials. Join in the fun using: cereal boxes (empty, of course) or other food packaging, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, and unneeded photographs along with scissors and glue. For young people ages 5-18. Parents and caregivers are welcome to join in as well. Afterwards, take photos of your masterpieces to share with the group and even on Facebook. Registration is required; call (316) 261-8500 or register at wichitalibrary.org/events. A link to the program will be sent to your inbox the day before and the day of the program.
Turtle Tales with Great Plains Nature Center
Tues, July 20 @10:30am
Experience the world of a Kansas turtle with a story and the opportunity to see a live turtle, presented by a representative from the Great Plains Nature Center who will answer your questions about the turtles who live around us. Children ages 3-11 will gain a better understanding and respect for the natural world. As an outdoor event, families are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.