Opinion: It’s time to explore summer at JCPL

The weather is warming up, the school year is ending and you are looking for fun activities to do all summer long. The Johnson County Public Library has you covered with our annual Explore Summer program that keeps you reading, creating and discovering new things on your own, with friends or with family.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of JCPL and runs from May 16 to July 31. Explore Summer is open to all ages. Stop in a library branch to sign up or register online at PageAfterPage.org/ExploreSummer. You’ll receive a coupon for a free book at a Friends of JCPL book sale, an activity log to track your reading minutes and a yard sign. JCPL’s Prize Patrol will be looking for yard signs as we are out and about this summer delivering prizes to your door.

Learning and reading throughout the summer are vital to developing early literacy skills and combating learning loss. Our goal as a community is to read three million minutes together. To help us reach that goal, we want you to read 10 hours this summer – that can include magazines, books, audiobooks or even the newspaper. Keep track of your time, and when you have hit that mark, you will receive a finisher’s prize and be entered to win the grand prize. This year, we’re giving away a staycation to the Indianapolis Bottleworks District. It includes gift cards to restaurants in the Garage Food Hall, Living Room Theaters and Pins Mechanical Company, plus a gas gift card so you can get there.

Weekly learning activities get you out and exploring Johnson County, whether it’s public art on the Great Arts Quest, visiting one of our Storywalks or looking at the stars with a telescope borrowed from our Library of Things.

JCPL librarians have planned some fabulous programs for you to attend this summer. Hedgehog Hannah will be here with 12 different animals for an interactive experience. Children’s book character The Green Crayon will meet and greet patrons at all of our branches. Random Fandom is back to celebrate pop culture and geek fandoms. Crafting for a Cause partners with local nonprofits. And Sub Zero Ice Cream will celebrate the end of summer with a STEAM presentation and ice cream party. To see all the activities and to register for programs, visit PageAfterPage.org/events.

Get ready to head to a JCPL Branch May 16 to register and start reading, adventuring and exploring all that JCPL has to offer this summer. We will see you at your favorite JCPL branch soon!

Kelly Staten is the programming manager for Johnson County Public Library. JCPL staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]