Elizabethton/Carter County Library begins first-ever adult summer reading program

Many organizations hold summer reading programs for members of the community, but many of them focus almost exclusively on children. Even the Elizabethton/Carter County Library realized it lacked a reading program for the adults who peruse their materials, and so they decided to change that.

Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator Maryann Owen grouped up with Cataloger Becca Dugger and Library Clerk Harley Williams in order to debut a new adult-centered reading program called “Explore the Universe.”

“This is the first time we have done this,” Owen said. “This is another example of us trying to come up with programs for adults.”

The program will run for six weeks this summer, from June 10 to July 26. It features a weekly book log, where participants will turn in a list of books they have read over the course of that week for the chance to win potential prizes the following Monday in a drawing.

“It is not about how much you read, but about you reading,” Williams said.

She said physical books are not the only forms of reading the program accepts.

“You can listen to audio books, read magazines or even newspapers,” she said.

Ultimately, they said the purpose is simply to get participants to read more regularly, not to impose any kind of minimum number of books. Those in the program do not have to fill the entire weekly sheet each time.

“This is not as stressful ‘I have to read this much’ thing,” Dugger said.

Williams said reading can often be a form of stress-relief, and for the many parents who can participate while taking their children to the library, she said this is important to know.

“You can see it as a form of stress relief,” Williams said. “It is ok to take time for yourself.”

At the end of the six weeks, Owen said there would be a grand prize drawing for all participants in the program during its full duration. For this drawing, every sheet someone submits throughout the program counts as one entry, so those who turned in a reading sheet all six weeks will get six entries into the pot.

“You just need to read one book,” Owen said, saying that is all it takes to turn in a sheet to the library.

Reading sheets are due at 5:30 every Friday, though participants can turn them in earlier in the week if it is more convenient.

For more information, contact the library at 423-547-6360.

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