By AMANDA KIMBLE
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin, “A Dance with Dragons”
DUBLIN (May 25, 2016) – Dublin Public Library offers patrons a lot throughout the year. But, summertime at the city-operated facility promises to be even better. Special events and activities include the annual Summer Reading Program – open to everyone newborn to 99 (or older) – and a chance to study science in a rolling museum in July.
Add to the summer schedule the library’s regular programs and services and a world of literary adventure, hands-on education and a chance to unwind are within reach – and driving distance.
“We try to find a lot of different fun activities to get kids into the library,” Youth Librarian Mendy Fort said. “We want to make reading fun – it’s not a chore and we don’t want to make it something they will dread. A lot of kids don’t realize what the library is about, but then they come in, they get excited.”
The programs and services aren’t only for Dublin residents. The are open to everyone and provided free of charge. A library card is not required to attend programs, but cards are free for anyone living in a 70-90 mile radius, according to Fort.
“They just need to bring in their ID and a piece of mail (for proof of residence),” she said.
Getting ready for a full summer schedule, Fort provided a rundown of special activities made possible by numerous grant awards obtained by Library Director Adina Dunn and donations from a “very giving and supportive” community.
Summer Reading Program
Dublin Public Library Summer Reading Program begins the final week of the school year and continues through August 6. Kicking off the fun and creating excitement for the program, a book fair will be held during operating hours May 27-June 11.
Fort said new titles for Dublin readers are expected this summer, including titles for children, teens and Spanish readers.
Reading logs can be picked up as early as Thursday, May 26 and will be due Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“The reading logs are open to all ages, not just kids,” Fort said.
Anyone who participates earns chances for prizes, which will be awarded through a raffle drawing on Saturday, Aug. 6.
“Participants get one ticket for every chapter book they read or every 10 picture books,” Fort added.
Prizes include Angry Birds Legos, Snap Circuits, a tee pee reading nook, Gameband for Minecraft, Fuzzy’s gift card and tank top, Beats headphones, family zoo pack, X-Box 360 and more.
In addition, the top readers in each age group – 5-8, 9-11, 12-15, 16-18 and 19 and older – will be awarded a Kindle Fire.
Meanwhile, activities are scheduled to take place throughout the summer – she the associated schedule for more information.
Rolling Science Museum
The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Trailblazer rolls into Dublin Tuesday, July 26 and will be parked at the city’s public library 9 a.m-1 p.m. The 40-foot rolling discovery museum includes a variety of engineering and science exhibits aimed at hands-on education for children in grades 3-8, but the opportunity to explore science is free and open to everyone.
The Trailblazer includes about 20 hands-on exhibits and activities that teach students about energy, space, weather, biotechnology and aerodynamics while also introducing them to educational and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“Some of the exhibits are similar to those at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,” Fort said.
For more information, visit tame.org/programs/trailblazer
Develop early reading skills with LITKITS
Parents and caregivers are invited to pull up a chair and dive into LITKITS. The kits are intended for preschool children and contain fun and educational age-appropriate board books, games, activities and more to help develop early reading skills.
LITKITS also include information for adults, explaining how to use the materials. The kits come in both English and Spanish and each is geared around a theme.
For now, parents and caregivers must use the kits inside the library, but home-school students, day care centers and preschools can check them out for off-site instruction.
“LITKITS will be available for check out by the general public after August,” Fort said.
The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
For more information on the kits, contact the library at 445-4141.
Enjoy virtual books at home
Area residents with a Dublin Public Library card and access to a PC, laptop or tablet can log on to a virtual world of literary works.
“If you have a library card you can get on Overdrive and check out books,” Fort said. “We also have laptops, iPads, Kindle Fires and Surface Tablets that can be checked out for use at the library.”
Five of the iPads are designated for use by younger children, only permitting access to educational, age-appropriate apps.
Almost every week throughout the year, the library offers a story time that is ideal for young children – babies up to about seven years old. The program’s summer session picks up June 16, continues every Thursday through mid-August and will resume at the beginning of the school year.
The program begins at 9:30 a.m. and spans about an hour. Children will be read a story and complete activities, such as crafts or painting.
“If we paint we don’t use brushes and if we do use brushes, we don’t use paint,” Fort said.
Books on the summer schedule include “Olympig,” with a Olympic bookmark/pledge activity; “Splish, Splash, Cat,” with a splatter paint activity; “Charlie Plays Ball,” when children make homemade bouncy balls; and others.
You can find the complete list of books and activities of the Dublin Public Library Facebook page.
Adult Coloring Club
For older siblings, parents and other adults feeling stressed and needing a creative way to unwind, Dublin Public Library offers an Adult Coloring Club. The group meets 5:30-6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month.
The library provides crayons, colored pencils, markers and coloring sheets or participants can bring their own supplies.
Studies show children whose parents or caregivers begin reading to them at an early age are more likely to develop a lifelong love of reading.
With that in mind, the library offers the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.
“It’s an incentive to get parents to read to kids,” Fort said. “All they have to do is sign up for the program, get a reading log and start reading. They get a prize for every 100 books and when they have read 1,000 books, they get a book for free.”
With repetition improving understanding and comprehension skills, adults can record the same book as many times as they read it.
Reel Book Club
Intended for readers who are in the fourth grade and above, the Reel Book Club combines the love of reading and movies.
“We meet the last Wednesday of the month and discuss the book and snippets of the movie version,” Fort said. “The following Friday night we will have a family movie night here at the library on the lawn and watch the entire movie version of the book.”
The movie is open to everyone, and the books are free.
“They just have to come by the library and sign up,” Fort said.
The club a new book each month June-December, featuring “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days,” “Holes,” “Matilda,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” “The Westing Zgame,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Free books for young children
Dubliners can also give their young children access to free books through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“Everyone who lives in the 76446 zip code and has children who are five years old and under can register for Dolly Parton Imagination Library,” Fort said. “They will receive a free book in the mail every month per child until each child turns five years old. It’s just another incentive to get parents to read to their kids and get books into kids hands.”
For more information on the programs and services available through the Dublin Public Library, call (254) 445-4141, log on to dublinlibrary.org or visit the library’s Facebook page facebook.com/DublinPublicLibrary.
You can also visit the library at 206 W. Blackjack Street. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed every Sunday and Monday.