Summer Reading Challenge

End of late book fines encourage participation

6/28/2016, 4:29 p.m.
The library’s Summer Reading program entices kids to read for pleasure when school is not in session.
Kids at Sitton School in north Portland take on the role of superhero readers as part of last year’s Summer Reading program by the Multnomah County Library. This summer’s program is kicking off on Friday, June 17. photo courtesy the Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading Program is underway with a big change for young readers and their families.

Starting this summer, the library will no longer charge late fines for youth materials or for cardholders younger than 18. The library will also forgive existing youth late fines. Replacement fees remain in place for all unreturned materials.

The library’s Summer Reading program entices kids to read for pleasure when school is not in session, maintaining the skills developed during the school year and encouraging lifelong library use. Last year, approximately 110,000 babies, kids and teens participated.

This year, over 85,000 students have already signed up through school. The library partners with seven Multnomah County school districts: Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland Public and Reynolds. Working with schools enables the library to reach students across Multnomah County and reinforce the fact that summer reading is critical for school success.

The program is open to kids of all ages, from birth to high school students entering grade 12. Anyone who has not signed up through school may do so at any neighborhood library. This year’s theme is wellness, sports and fitness.

Upon sign-up, participants or their parents receive a gameboard customized for their age group. Participants then engage in any number of literacy-building activities and track their progress on their gameboards. Activities include reading, being read to, listening to audiobooks, attending a library event or writing about their favorite way to get moving.

As they complete levels on their gameboards, participants earn books, free passes, restaurant coupons and other prizes.

The Summer Reading Program is open to kids of all ages. Sign up at any neighborhood library.