Summer reading and fun at Rock Island Public Library kicks off in an artful way Saturday, June 10, with the Rock Island Library’s Build a Better Summer kickoff.
The 11:00 am to 2:00 pm carnival at the Rock Island downtown library, 401 19th Street, offers chances to register for reading contests for children, teens, adults, and families and pick up the first registration prize, as well as a special gift for attendees, while supplies last. To keep the fun going, families can also play life-size games and in the bounce house, try some spinner or spray bottle art, see and touch emergency response vehicles from the Rock Island Police and Fire departments, eat hot dogs, and enjoy live entertainment and science demonstrations. The event is free, and because branch staff will be helping with activities, the 30/31 and Southwest locations will be closed on June 10. In the event of rain, most activities will move inside the Main Library.
The library’s selection of hands on learning, creating, and making opportunities extend far beyond the kickoff, with more than 70 free events planned for children, teens, adults and families at Rock Island Library locations. Highlights include an all ages Pokemon walk in the District of Rock Island from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on Monday, June 19. Participants will meet at the 19th Street entrance of the downtown library, and then walk with library staff on a hunt for Pokemon downtown. The walk visits nearby gyms and pokestops. Bring a fully charged smartphone, and see what you can catch!
Another event for families and participants of all ages is the library’s Interactive Movie Night, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, June 27 in the Community Room of the downtown library. The library is showing the original 1971 film based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, embellished with opportunities to interact with characters and action, use props, and more. The family-friendly movie for all ages doesn’t require finding a golden ticket, but the library asks that participants sign up by calling 309-732-7360 or via the library’s online calendar.
Learning events for children this summer include ongoing Toddler Tale Storytimes for ages birth to five, offered at the same time as Engineer a Story events for older siblings, monthly Play and Grow times for ages three and under, Lego Challenges for Kindergarten through sixth grades, and four-week Art and Math Clubs for kids entering 2nd through 8th grades. Registration is still available for Art and Math, which runs on Tuesdays, June 13, 20, 27 and July 11 at the downtown library. To sign up your child, call 309-732-7360 or register online.
Special summer performances for children and families include magic shows by TJ Regul, Absolute Science hands-on science experiments, music and fun by children’s entertainer Babaloo, and two shows of Creepy Crawlies and Snakes Alive, live nature and science education by the Grout Museum and Science Center of Iowa.
Featured events for teens ages 12 to 18 include a water balloon building challenge, a dissection day involving squid and starfish, a teen "iron chef" contest, a make your own illustrated graphic novel program, library mini golf, and a teen tie dye craft.
Adult events also follow the creating and making theme, with craft events on making letter-tile coasters, a paper piecing quilt block sewing project, the return of adult coloring for one night, and a book page wreath. Additional adult programs include a presentation on the humor of Abraham Lincoln, a how-to on raising backyard chickens, the first of nine programs on World War I, and tips on organizing a home library.
All programs are provided at no extra charge and are open to the public.
Children from pre-K to 6th grade, teens ages 12 to 18, adults, and families can enter the library’s reading challenges in person at library locations or online, with the library’s new Beanstack online reading program. In person registration on paper forms starts Saturday, June 10, and continues afterward at all Rock Island Library locations. Online registration is available via the library website with reading beginning June 10. Participants will choose to participate either via the paper program or online.
Summer reading programs are made possible with support from the library, the Rock Island Library Public Foundation, and sponsors such as Modern Woodmen of America and Happy Joes of Rock Island.
To see a full list of programs for all ages, download the library’s summer guide at the "Check out what’s happening" image on the library website.