Exploring new worlds: Region’s libraries stocking up for summer excitement

By Lynn Johnson

Director of the Lewiston City Library

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is the inspiration for this summer’s reading programs for kids and adults.

Libraries across the nation are basing their summer programs on the theme a Universe of Stories. Programs and literature revolving around this theme have been collected and curated to help children learn about the brave astronauts who walked on the moon, to get them interested in science and to encourage them to read in order to avoid the summer slide or loss of reading skills that children, teachers and parents worked to develop throughout the school year.

Summer reading kickoff parties, including those at the Lewiston City Library and Asotin County Library in Clarkston, will offer food, fun and space-themed crafts and stations in the hope that families will join them in encouraging their children to enjoy reading during the summer.

Not from the valley? Then check out Galaxy Rock Painting in Juliaetta, Jeff Evans’ Out of This World Magic Show at the East City Park in Moscow, build rockets with Johna B. at the Winchester Library, or make stomp rockets with the Latah County 4-H program at the Troy Library.

Summer reading is not just for kids. Summer is a good time to escape by book if you can’t hop a plane and get out of town. With a variety of ways to access books these days, there really is no reason not to pick one up or download one for free. Overdrive or Libby apps, through your local library, make the process relatively painless, and offerings include everything from the newest biography to cookbooks and beach reads.

And don’t forget there are programs for adults, as well. These mostly free activities are a fantastic way to learn something new this summer. In Kamiah, you can make galaxy bath bombs or learn about heat mapping with an infrared gun. At the Lewiston library July 27, you can walk and talk with Jennifer Pharr Davis, 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Spend an hour learning about qigong at the Asotin County Library at 6 p.m. June 24 or look at the stars with Solar System Ambassador Chet Bart at the Lapwai City Park at 8 p.m. July 9.

Whether you are interested in man landing on the moon or not, there are plenty of entertaining and educational programs and materials at our local libraries — all it takes is “one small step” in the door.

IF YOU GO

Here are details on a few of the summer programs happening at regional libraries:

Lewiston summer reading kickoff: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday, Lewiston City Library.

Clarkston summer reading kickoff: 5 to 7 p.m. June 13, Asotin County Library, downtown.

Galaxy Rock Painting: 10:30 a.m. June 13, Juliaetta Community Library.

Jeff Evans’ Out of This World Magic Show: 6 p.m. June 20, East City Park, Moscow.

Build rockets with Johna B.: 11 a.m. July 10, Winchester Library.

Make stomp rockets: 10:30 a.m. July 25, Troy City Park, Troy.

For teens and adults

Look at the stars with Solar System Ambassador Chet Bart: 8 p.m. July 9, Lapwai City Park.

Introduction to Qigong: 6 p.m. June 24, Asotin County Library, Clarkston.

National Geographic Adventurer Jennifer Pharr Davis: 4 p.m. July 27, Lewiston City Library.

Lynn Johnson is the director of the Lewiston City Library. Although she doesn’t endorse texting and driving, she absorbs books daily in her car thanks to audiobooks via the Valnet system. She currently is currently to “Becoming,” by Michelle Obama. She can be reached at ljohnson@cityoflewiston.org.

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