It’s almost summer time, and for area residents that means it’s time for the Summer Reading Club at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library. And this year’s theme is “Reading is Magic.”

Of course, due to COVID restrictions, “It looks very different this year,” said library director Lisa Youngblood.

“The Summer Reading Club is mostly online, but later in the summer we (hope we) will have some in-person programs.”

All programs for the month of June will be entirely virtual. Even with this change, however, there will be a lot to look forward to in the next couple of months.

For the reading club, there will be link available to use to sign up beginning June 1. Participants will use this link to also log their reading hours (this includes writing and listening, for instance to audiobooks). There will be weekly challenges for people to do, as well. Youngblood said, “You’ll get points for reading books, and earn badges for reading and challenges.”

The online reading club will be using READsquared, and will allow users to register, log their books and hours, see upcoming events, and do reading challenges.

It’s available as an app for iPhone and Android, and can be found in the app store.

Once the app is installed, search for “Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library” and get started. The link will also be posted on the library’s website as of June 1.

The reading club is made possible by the Friends of the Library. “They have been extremely generous to us,” Youngblood said.

For programming, the first week is a celebration of the reading club’s main theme, “Reading is Magic.” Youngblood said that for this first week’s virtual programs and activities, people can expect a variety of videos on the science of magic, as well as magic tricks that staff will teach children how to do.

Every week of the summer will have its own theme.

For example, the second week’s theme is Pirates, and people can expect online videos and programs like sea chanteys, pirate sword play, and even a treasure hunt, to name a few. The second week is Medieval Week, and will include lots of princesses, catapult science, and a puppet show, among others. Weekly themes will be based on the weekly performances.

“We’ll still have them, it just depends on the way to have performers, whether online o in-person through a ticketing system,” Youngblood said, “so if (events) are not in person, they will be available in other ways. They are all allowing livestreaming on Facebook and (videos) will be available for a week.”

Online programming is independent of the reading club, so people can participate as much or as little as they like.

Also, there will be online programming for teens and adults all summer long, and one does not need a library card to participate in either the reading club or the online programs.

“Our club is focused on relationships and reading together,” Youngblood said. “We encourage families to read together.”

Youngblood added, “I think people will be excited about the engagement provided with the online videos. We encourage and invite everyone to check back often.”

Information will be updated and available on the library’s website at http://www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/library and on the library’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/harkerheightspubliclibrary/posts/ .

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