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Daniel Boone Regional Library Summer Reading Program Returns Partially In-Person, Connects with Rural Readers

Daniel Boone Regional Library

After a year entirely online due to COVID-19 restrictions, Daniel Boone Regional Library’s summer reading program has resumed some of its in-person programming. This year’s program, “Tails and Tales,” began this month with hundreds of participants signing up.

Lauren Williams, DBRL’s Adult and Community Services Manager, said while in-person events will not be returning yet, people can come into the library branches to sign up or pick up materials for this year's program.

She added that they have already had 565 sign-ups for the program within the first two days of opening on June 1st.

“Summer reading is really about encouraging kids to stay engaged with reading over the summer,” Williams said. “So, we just encourage everyone to participate. It's a great way to get involved at the library and develop that habit of reading.”

She said the local summer reading program began in the 1980s to prevent the ‘summer slide,’ which is when kids lose reading and literary skills over the summer when they’re out of class - which is nothing new. According to the American Library Association, summer reading programs actually began in the late 19th Century.

Williams said while the main purpose of the program has remained the same throughout the years - engage with the community and encourage kids to read - there have been some changes, as library staff finds new ways to connect.

One way they are meeting the needs of the community is that individuals can still participate in the summer reading program entirely virtually, and they will also be offering “Books By Snail” for kids in the more rural areas of Boone and Callaway counties.

“We mail books to students who are grades kindergarten through 12th grade in those cities where we don't have a library branch,” Williams said. “So, that's Auxvasse, Hallsville, Kingdom City, Sturgeon, Williamsburg. So, any communities where you don't have a library branch.”

If you or your child would like to sign up for the reading program, visit DBRL’s website at www.dbrl.org/summer-reading

Corrected: June 14, 2021 at 1:26 PM CDT
Please note that the original headline misrepresented the 2020 Summer Reading program. It did occur - just in a 100% online version due to COVID-19 restrictions. The headline has been updated to reflect that information.
Rachel Schnelle is a senior journalism student studying Radio Convergence Reporting. She is an anchor and reporter for KBIA. She can be reached at rescm4@umsystem.edu