Midland County Public Libraries offer a series of events and activities throughout the summer for all ages. Discovering books and reading for pleasure helps to prevent that "summer slide" between school years, and families are given opportunities for fun for weeks on end!
Tails & Tales
Participants in the Summer Reading Program can earn prizes for attending library programs and reading great books. Upon completing the program, participants' names go into a drawing for bikes and other prizes!
Every summer comes with a different theme. This year we will have a zoo of a time with Tails & Tales. Participants may find reading lists fitting this theme through their READsquared (external link) accounts. MCPL also has a variety of performers scheduled throughout the summer. These performers include:
- June 7 - Will Parker (external link) at Centennial Library - Children’s songwriter Will Parker plays guitar and harmonica and sings original songs that encourage interaction and creativity from his young audiences. A former high school theater teacher, Mr. Parker now tours the country performing at schools, libraries, museums, churches, camps, and festivals.
- June 18 - Science Spectrum (external link) at Centennial & Downtown Library - Learn about native animals of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico including snakes, lizards, insects, and mammals in this hands-on demonstration.
- July 12 - Lucas Miller (external link) at Centennial & Downtown Library - Lucas Miller, the singing zoologist, gets kids excited about science with songwriting and puppetry. High-energy performances address curriculum-based science themes such as life cycles, ocean ecology, and Texas ecosystems.
- July 20 - Elizabeth Ellis (external link) at Centennial & Downtown Library - Award-winning storyteller Elizabeth Ellis has been sharing tales with children and adults for more than four decades at schools, libraries, and storytelling festivals.
- July 29 - Harlin Rhoades (external link) at Centennial Park - Local children’s entertainer Harlin Rhoades has brought joy to young West Texas for more than 25 years with his magic shows and balloon art. His shows are entertaining while also incorporating relevant topics such as bullying, character building, and the importance of reading.
- July 30 - Outspoken Bean (external link) at Centennial Library - Poet, writer, and mentor Emanuelee Bean brings a one-man show to engage audiences in conversation about mistakes, redemption, and the power of words. Outspoken Bean was a 2011 Texas Poet Laureate nominee and ranking poet at the 2013 Individual World Poetry Slam and 2014 National Poetry Slam.
How to participate
Getting started with the Summer Reading Program at MCPL is quick and easy. Between May 31 and July 24, participants will be able to track reading habits and books read, as well as library programs attended, to earn points that add up to win prizes. Those who complete the summer goal are the ones entered for the grand prizes at the end of the summer!
Step one: register
Register online for READsquared (external link) by creating an account for one person or for the whole family. READsquared is also available for mobile devices in the App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play Store (for Androids).
Pre-Registration begins May 24.
For help with creating an account, visit the library and speak with a staff member or download our READsquared quick start guide (PDF).
STEP two: track your reading
Read to Me Club - For babies and children who will be read to by someone else, points are awarded for number of books read.
Emergent Readers Club – For children beginning to read with help, points are awarded for number of minutes spent reading.
Readers Club – For children who can read on their own, points are awarded for the number of minutes spent reading.
Teens – For ages 13 to 18 only, points are awarded for the number of pages read.
Adults - For ages 18+, points are awarded for the number of pages read.
STEP three: attend library events
Educational games unlock as more points and badges are awarded, and the missions offer points for completing tasks such as outdoor activities and art projects. Earn even more points by attending library events! The more events attended - like those listed above - means more points for the family! Visit our events calendar (link) to stay up-to-date on upcoming programs and performers or ask a staff member for a copy of our monthly calendar.
MCPL could not make the Summer Reading Program really take off without the help of the Midland County Public Library Foundation. To learn more about the Foundation and how they support library programming, visit their web page (link) and follow them on Facebook @mcplftx!
Summer Reading Program 2021 also is made possible by Midland Friends of Libraries and Literacy. The Friends provide support for libraries and other nonprofits that promote education and literacy in West Texas. Visit the Friends Bookstore at 2305 W. Michigan Ave. For more information, visit their web page.