Salina Public Library entertains and teaches children

For a child, visiting the Salina Public Library is more than reading a book. It’s where many kids look forward to visiting during the summer, both for its programs and to see a familiar face.

Three-year-old Gus is known to run excitedly to the counter at the Salina Public Library (301 W. Elm St.). It’s where he and children like him receive a warm welcome from staff who know their names and remember the books they love to read.

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“Gus is a big reader, so he likes to pick up new books to take home,” said his mother, Ashley Mills. “All the librarians know him, they really get to know him and make him feel special.”

The payoff is seeing how excited kids are to be at the library, said marketing manager Marcus Petty.

“There are very few feelings that match when you see the joy they have, it’s unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity,” he said.

Both young people and adults can maintain their reading skills by reading or listening to a book and filling out a form in person and online. The submission enters them into a weekly contest for a chance to win a prize. Children who reach their reading program goal have their photos posted on the library wall and receive social media recognition.

Katie Snapp’s 9-year-old son Braxton enjoys discovering new chapters to read.

“I love that it keeps him reading,” Snapp said. “It’s fun for him. I love that the librarians are always there to help us.

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1,000 books before kindergarten

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program encourages young readers to log the books they’ve read and potentially win a t-shirt and certificate to celebrate their hard work.

Petty and her staff make sure the fun continues. There are several age-appropriate programs available when school is not in session.

“We have a full range of ongoing programs planned for children aged six months through high school age,” he said. “We try to do our best to fight the Summer Slide.”

The library is hosting Book Worms & Water Bugs at Centennial Park from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 11. Children from infancy to 5 years old are welcome. No registration is required for the event which includes story time, music and recreation at the wading pool.

Ongoing programs such as Lego® Club, Gaming, Tech Club and Anime Club ensure that young people always have a fun atmosphere and new challenges to take on at the library. Youth tech programs give kids the chance to learn coding and 3D design.

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A full calendar of events is available on the library’s website and can be filtered by age group, from toddler to adult.

For parents of children who enjoy the library and its programs, it is equally rewarding for them.

“The library has helped me and other moms in the community connect,” Mills said. She encourages other parents to enroll their children in library programs.

“Go there, it’s cheap and fun. You have nothing to lose,” she said.

Snapp, a mother of two boys under the age of nine, loves her kids taking advantage of opportunities to play learning games and connect with friends at the library.

“I love our library,” she said. “It’s a happy place.”

Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz

Library Suggestions for Summer Reading

Picture books for pre-readers

“Paletero Man” by Lucky Diaz

“I’m a Little Ice Cream” Truck by Margery Cuyler

“Pool Party” by Amy Duchene

“My friend Ben and the great race” by Charles Beyl

“Millions of Maxes” by Meg Wolitzer

“I’m Growing Well” by Mechal Renee Roe

“Grumpy Monkey” by Suzanne Long

1st and 2nd year students

“Elephant and Piggie Series” by Mo Willems

“Jack Series” by Mac Barnett

“Do you like my bike? (Hello, hedgehog!)” by Norm Feuti

“New Shark in Town” by Davy Ocean

“Magic Tree House, Series” by Mary Pope Osborne

“Mac Undercover (Kid Spy #1)” by Mac Barnett

“Dory Phantasmagoria” by Abby Hanlon

The Salina Public Library.

3rd to 6th grade students

“The Last Children on Earth” (series) by Max Brallier

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

“The One and Only Bob” by Katherine Applegate

“Pie in the Sky” by Remy Lai

“Restart” by Gordon Korman

“The Watsons Go to Birmingham” by Christopher Paul Curtis

“Wings of Fire” (series) by Tui T. Sutherland

“The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill

“Ali Cross” by James Patterson

“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

“Becoming Muhammad Ali” by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander

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