This summer, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries took their annual Summer Reading Program online to encourage local youth, teens and adults to read, learn and explore while the libraries remain closed to the public. Through the generous sponsorship of almost thirty community donors, plus invaluable support from the Friends of the Goleta, Solvang and Buellton Libraries, the libraries were able to maintain the reading incentive format of the in-person program of years past by offering prizes at each reading level. Youth and teens received their prizes in the mail, while all three age groups were entered into drawings for grand prizes awarded at the end of the summer. Almost 900 readers used the online system Beanstack to log their reading, where they could earn badges to chart their progress toward each prize tier. As a community, our readers completed an impressive total of 8,298 books this summer, which helped youth and teens to maintain their critical thinking skills between school years and provided adult participants with an incentive to enjoy the many benefits of reading, including increased knowledge, stress relief, and improved memory.
Although the community could not gather this year to attend the ever-popular Summer Reading Program performances, the libraries were able to host 1-2 weekly virtual shows for patrons to view from home. With concerts, puppet shows, a magician, a bubbleologist, and even the zoo, patrons could tune in through Facebook and YouTube to enjoy a combined total of fifteen virtual programs from June to August. Families watching from home were able to learn about new topics and enjoy entertainment from these spectacular performers, who masterfully adapted their routines to connect with patrons in an online format.
Teens who typically volunteer during the Summer Reading Program to get involved and earn community service hours were sincerely missed this summer, and we were excited to offer them the opportunity to earn community service hours virtually instead by writing Teen Book Reviews to be posted on the library website. Patrons are encouraged to visit this page to hear what our local teens thought about some of the books they read this summer and to get ideas for what books to read next!
At its heart, the goal of the Summer Reading Program is to encourage a lifelong love of reading and to celebrate the many important benefits of reading at every age. The Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries would like to congratulate all of the children, teens and adults who participated in the 2020 Virtual Summer Reading Program this summer for all of the wonderful reading that they accomplished!