What’s The BPL Connection?
This is Bozeman Public Library’s first blog, though we’ve thought about it before but never made it a priority. Now, amidst culture changing coronavirus and coming out of a quarantine, a shift to virtual is important- now more than ever.
Post #2: Summertime, and the living are...ready to read!
Summer is officially here in Gallatin Valley! We finally can welcome long, light-filled days, which in my mind means time for MORE! More time spent outside, more adventures to seek, more water and hydration to stay cool, more time to start (and maybe even finish) projects, and more time to read! There may still only be 24 hours in a day, but in the summertime I have the illusion of more time (whether or not that’s true or even a healthy mindset, I don’t know). I do that with the free time I have, I am spending more of it immersed in stories.
Let’s talk for a minute about summer reading. Long before I was a librarian, I always looked forward to library summer reading programs with a love and longing that other readers can relate to. My hometown library program brings back such fond memories of devouring books as a child. Series, standalone novels, assigned reading- I loved it all then, and still do today. Sure, reading so voraciously meant I would be entered to win a prize, but I was never reading for the incentive - just for the pure joy of getting lost in a story, unable to put a book down at night should something happen while I was asleep!
While I was in college, I took the kids I nannied for during the summers to the same library for the fun programs. Some things changed with the times, but the enthusiasm for stories prevails. Our summer reading program has changed this year with the times as well, and while it may seem like we’re living in a dystopian future novel but at the library, we’re committed to serving you safely in new and unique ways.
Having fun working (but not as a librarian!) at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson, WY in 2007
I don’t think I was an anomaly as an avid reader, but summer reading programs can provide more for kids than fun and games. It can help prevent summer learning loss for young readers. Research dating back to the 1970’s shows summer learning loss, also known as summer slide, and its relationship to socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status can be determined by parents’ education level, employment status, average household income and it is also directly linked to access to books and outside support. BPL can provide access and support, even while remaining socially distant!
Personally, my to-read list is long, the stack of books by my bed is tall, and my concentration has been sporadic. Lately I’ve been trying more audiobooks and short stories. We’re offering a virtual Short Story Social throughout the summer, and now I’m reading new genres, authors that are on my to-read list, and expanding my knowledge and perspective. There’s nothing like the experience of being immersed in another perspective so outside of your own. I’m also finding it easier to remain present for stories instead of letting my mind wander off. That’s typically what I struggle the most with in audiobooks, but I also love to find a good audiobook with a narrator with personality. There are arguments on whether audiobooks can be considered reading - I’m a firm believer in storytelling as a form of literacy. Recorded books are just another tool in our toolbelt to use when appropriate!
Currently, through MontanaLibrary2Go there are several books highlighted through a new collection called “Black Lives Matter: Community Reads” where certain titles are available with no waitlists as a community read. You can check these out through Overdrive and Libby. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of these titles, and is also the BPL book club pick for July. We’ll be offering the book club twice on Tuesday, July 21 - a socially distant, outdoor option at noon, and online via Zoom at 6:30 PM.
We’ll see you soon! Be safe, be happy, and be well!
Written by: Corey, Adult Programming and Outreach Librarian (and summer reading enthusiast)