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Libraries go virtual for summer

By Rachel Wartian

Many summer activities are choosing a virtual approach this year. This includes Suffolk Public Library’s launch of their summer reading challenges and virtual events.

Starting June 7 and ending Aug. 22, Suffolk Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Challenge will be in full swing. The community reading goal is set at 20,200 items. The items include books, e-books, magazines, audiobooks and more.

“Summer Challenge is going to look different at Suffolk Public Library this year, but many aspects of the annual celebration remain, like the library’s commitment to highlighting what makes Suffolk special and helping people of all ages create new experiences,” said Megan Mulvey, outreach and program services manager. “I’m excited to see how our creative and diverse community makes the challenge their own this year,” said Mulvey.

All ages can log their items read on the online reading platform, Beanstack, to put their name in the grand prize drawing at the end of the summer. There will be one winner chosen for each age category (0-7, 8-17, and 18-plus) for a prize, including a $125 Amazon gift card, Visa gift card, local bundle card, or donation to a non-profit.

There are weekly drawings, too. Each week there will be a drawing for a $25 gift card to a Suffolk business for those who complete activities in Beanstack. In addition, a second weekly drawing will be for participants who enter by reading and logging books in Beanstack, and this prize will be a $10 gift certificate for the Friends of the Suffolk Public Library bookstore.

“I am most excited about our weekly drawings,” said Mulvey. “I love that the gift card can be used to support small businesses in our community that have really taken a hit during this hard time.”

Camp SPL events will still take place to engage the whole family.

Camp Monday Fundays will start the week with virtual events. Wednesday mornings will have a literacy-based Virtual Family Storytimes, including books, rhymes and songs. Family Fridays will end the week with a hands-on activity.

The Suffolk Public Library has virtual events for all ages all summer long. Even though the library cannot hold group events, they are still connecting everyone through interactive activities and the love of reading.