Summer is fast approaching and students are beginning to look forward to sunny weather, sleeping in, and, most of all, a huge increase in free time. What better way to spend summer than relaxing and reading?


Summer reading programs at public libraries offer many opportunities for high schoolers to engage in the community, get volunteer hours, and incentivize reading. The theme for this year’s program is “Libraries Rock!”. Librarians are busy planning activities with the many possibilities around a musical theme.


For the teen reading program at the Ely Public Library, there will be four levels with five hours of reading for each level. After completing each level, be sure to check in with the library to pick up fun prizes! For those who complete the entire program, names will be entered into drawings for larger gift cards to win.


To practice refining math skills over the summer, there will be a competitive board with weekly winners for leaders in Khan Academy points.


In addition to reading and math, the library also offers a variety of summer programs and activities geared towards teens. There will be programs for nearly every day of the week, including STEM-focused Mondays and movies on Fridays.


According to Tracy Clair, children’s librarian at the Ely Library, some programs that may be interesting to high schoolers include presentations from the University of Iowa about the history of comics and graphic novels, as well as a presentation using a real human brain!


For those interested in health and wellness, Tai Chi is offered Tuesday mornings, a meditation on Wednesdays, and yoga Thursday mornings.


Volunteering at the library over the summer is a great way to accumulate hours for service projects, silver cord, or Key Club. They are always looking for teens to help out! There are so many ways to volunteer, so finding something engaging will never be a problem. Between shelving books and helping out with kids and programs, summer at the library is a busy place.


Because the theme of this year’s summer program is “Libraries Rock!”, a unique opportunity is being extended to band students interested in playing for kids and sharing their passion for music with them. It would be a lot of fun and a great way to earn some extra volunteer hours.


Clair weighs in on the reasons to get teens involved in library programming. “I want them to come away thinking of the library as something they will use their whole lives. Once they graduate, they should remember that the library is not just for them to check out books, but for their entertainment needs, to meet people, and eventually bringing their kids back to start the cycle over again,” she says.


Next time that summer boredom begins to hit, take advantage of the great culture and community surrounding the library this summer!


For questions or to set up volunteering, contact Tracy Clair at

For more information, visit


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s