Rockaways Diary: Stepping It Up for Summer Reading

Posted by: Kacper Jarecki, June 26, 2013 10:39 am
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If you like sports, then you know there are periods when teams push their intensity to the max. You know about the Super Bowl in football, which is the most watched program in television. You know about the NBA Finals in basketball, you know about the World Series in Major League Baseball, and you know about Wrestlemania in wrestling. Well, Queens Library at Peninsula also has its time of max intensity: it's called Summer Reading!

We do Summer Reading every year about the time that school ends and many families take time off from work to enjoy the summer! Do you know the best way to complement your relaxation time? It's with a great book, of course! What else did you think I would say? And of course the library has a ton of great books for your entire family!

The library also has a huge collection of e-books, digital audiobooks, and even e-magazines. In theory, you could peruse and enjoy Queens Library's collection on your tablet at the beach. Come by the Peninsula Library and take part in our classics book club, which is tackling Shakespeare this summer. You can also visit the Summer Reading website at www.summerreading.org -- sign in, create an avatar and keep track of all the books you've read. No sweat!

Now that you've read this far, let me tell you another reason why Summer Reading is so intense: it's the programs! The library is such an exciting place because it has infinite potential. When I do class visits at schools, I tell the kids, “Your library card is better than a driver's license because it lets you time travel, space travel, meet dinosaurs, talk to aliens, hang out with historical figures, be anyone and do anything!”

So during Summer Reading I always try my best to come up with imaginative and great programs that can actually happen in real life at the library! Right now I work at Queens Library at Peninsula – in a trailer, no less. But just like injuries cannot stop a great sports player (like Kobe Bryant, who has played with a broken finger, or gymnast Kerri Strug who won an Olympic gold medal despite spraining her ankle), being in a trailer can't keep Queens Library down!

This summer we are doing some really exciting programming at Peninsula! On July 1, we are hosting an event to help Rockaways residents preserve their Sandy memories. Did you take lots of pictures during Superstorm Sandy? Bring them to the Peninsula library to have them preserved for future generations through the Queens Memory Project.

When planning my events, I feel like a sports scout, constantly on the look-out for the next big thing! Often I will pay extra attention to magazines and newspapers, and most importantly I talk to people in the community to see what they want.

For example, I was reading Cat Fancy magazine, and there was an article about Cat Cafes in Tokyo, Japan! Basically, a Cat Cafe is like a Starbucks with cats! It lets you enjoy the company of a cat without the responsibility of owning one. So I decided to do a Cat Cafe program at the library – except with stuffed cats (August 5 at 3:00 pm)!

Recently, I got invited to Book Expo by one of my friends. Book Expo is like a conference where books and their authors are the star! I was like, I could do this at my library, so we are hosting a Local Author Expo (August 17)!

Another time, someone was telling me that he hates LeBron James, so we will be hosting a sports discussion group for non-fans of LeBron James (July 12th)! We are also doing a film festival (August 19th), Temporary Tattoo Parlor (every Friday), and partnering with Project Hope to do Stress Relief for adults (every Thursday), teens (every Wednesday), and kids (every Saturday)!

One time I was playing an interesting video game online (“Depression Quest”). I thought “why not?” and invited the programmer to the library (we’re working on the date)! Sometimes people will be so surprised and tell me “I didn't know libraries do that.” But if you take anything from this article, remember that Libraries Can Do Anything!

These are just a small sample of programs taking place. Imagine if we are doing these programs in a small trailer library, then just think what all the other libraries that have a real building are up to! Every Queens Library is doing something extraordinary this summer!

Go to http://www.queenslibrary.org/events to check out what amazing programs are taking place at your library! And just like any great sporting event, you just have to be there. So what are you waiting for? Step up your game and head to your nearest Queens Library today!


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