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From the Interim Director, May 2022

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time for registration to open for the library’s annual Summer Reading Program. This year’s program theme is Oceans of Possibilities, and we’re inviting everyone in the community to take a deep dive into what the library has to offer for kids and adults this summer. The Summer Reading Program begins June 4, but registration opens on May 2 – visit our website at ocls.info/srp to find out what’s in store. Sign up soon because our most popular events, camps and classes fill up quickly!

Every year, the Summer Reading Program serves the community in so many ways. For example:

  • We host Orange County Public Schools’ Mobile Lunch program, which gives out free, nutritious meals to children and young adults under 18 at six branches, five days a week. In 2021, we distributed more than 15,000 meals to kids at library locations – and we’re doing it again in 2022.
  • We offer reading challenges for adults and children to promote literacy in the community. Last year, we created a community reading goal of one million minutes, and we asked people to log their reading using paper trackers or the Beanstack app. We far exceeded that goal – people logged more than 1.8 million minutes during summer 2021. This year, we hope to encourage people to read even more and help us reach our new community reading goal of two million minutes.
  • We host educational, entertaining and informative programs all summer long. Last year, all of our summer programming was virtual, but this year we’re offering you a choice of virtual or in-person events at all library locations, from June 4 through July 23. Check out our Summer Reading Program page to browse our offerings – for adults and kids alike – and don’t forget to visit our Facebook and YouTube channels for livestream programs for kids every Thursday at 4 p.m.
  • Want your kids to keep learning, even when school’s out? Our Melrose Center and Technology and Education Center offers free camps and classes for kids and teens on everything from sewing to video production to coding. They’ll learn new skills and have fun at the same time. Sign them up before classes are filled!
  • At the end of every summer, we also give away prizes, generously donated by our Summer Reading Sponsor, Window World of Central Florida. Kids who complete the summer reading challenge earn a chance to win scooters, electronics and more. This gives kids an incentive to keep up with their summer reading goals, which studies show can help them avoid summer learning loss (or “summer slide”).

We’re excited for Summer Reading Program 2022 – after two years of being entirely virtual, we’re looking forward to welcoming you back in person to celebrate summer with us this year.

Steve Powell, Interim Director/CEO & COO, Orange County Library System