The Summer Reading Program Reimagined

Nothing about 2020 is going how we had planned, and the annual Summer Reading Program is no exception. Though things are looking different at the library this summer, families and children of all ages can still count on having access to high quality activities throughout June in July in the form of virtual storytimes, STEAM grab-and-go bags, adventure kits available for checkout, and even a Storywalk at Ruihley Park.

Virtual Storytimes

In the past, the library has offered fun and engaging face-to-face programming for children at the library. However, to align ourselves with Governor Mike DeWine's social distancing guidelnes, we are forgoing this type of programming this summer. Instead, one offering we will have is Virtual Storytime every Wednesday at 10am, accessible anytime via our library Facebook Page. We began broadcasting these storytimes in late March and plan to continue through June 30th, as many of the publisher permissions are only extended through the end of June. 

Grab-and-Go STEAM Bags

Grab and Go STEAM Bags also will be available to pick up each week beginning June 1 for grades K-3. Directions and educational discussions will be broadcast on our library Facebook page weekly to coincide with each bag. Some of the exciting STEAM activities will include: making a catapult, marble mazes, a fingerprint challenge, and a UV light sensitive bead animal shelter with discussions on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. We will have a similar format for our Tweens grades 4-7 with discussions on water tension, diffusion, simple machines, and much more!

Adventure Kits

We are offering several types of kits to provide rich experiences for families to check out with a library card. Beginning June 1, the library will have 4 Messy Maker Kits available for checkout by an adult for the children in their care. In this kit, we have included all of the ingredients, supplies, and directions for making Kool-Aid Playdough, Goop, and Shaving Cream Color Blend Bags... you supply the water and the stovetop! The Musical Fun Program we had last year was such a great success, thus the Musical Fun Kit was born. In each of the four kits for checkout, there are 4 egg shakers, 4 bells, 2 maracas, 4 scarves, and 2 of Ms. Martie's favorite CD's. Children and their caregivers are invited to explore the outdoors through our Outdoor Adventure Kits, which each include one pair of children's binoculars, a bug collection box, bug catching net, tweezers, magnifying glass, and bug and bird identification guides. All of these kits check out for one week and reserves will be allowed beginning in June. Call the library at 419-446-2783 to place a hold on a kit as they are not visible in the online catalog. Special precautions will be taken to ensure that each kit is completely disinfected and an additional measure of a 3 day quarantine will be instituted as well before checkout.

Special Walks at Ruihley Park

Thanks to a partnership with the Archbold Parks and Recreation Department the library plans to offer a temporary Storywalk beginning in June. Community members and families are invited to walk along the path at Ruihley Park and read laminated pages from a picture storybook, such as Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed, among others. Storywalks were created by Anne Ferguson of Vermont with help from Rachel Senechal and are in all 50 states! We are proud to create this experience for our community to enjoy outside the four walls of the library this summer. A new story will be installed every two weeks running through the end of July.   

Reading Logs: How to Track Your Progress This Summer

Instead of paper reading logs, this year we are utilizing an easy to use App called Reader Zone that records minutes read either by using the in-app timer or by manual entry. Parents can create an account with all of the reading children and teens in their family. The Program Name is Archbold Library Summer Reading Clubs with several groups to choose from: K-3 grade readers, 4-7 grade readers, and 8-12 grade readers. Each group includes weekly reading goals which earn virtual badges upon completion of each goal. Readers can log minutes June 1 through the end of July. The program code you will need to finish signing up is c1e64


Prizes for reaching reading goals will have to look different this year as well. We know that the children loved rifling through the prize box each week upon completion of their goal, but not this year. This year, prizes will be awarded upon completion of the program goals after July 31st. We generally request donations from our local businesses for gift certificates, but with so many businesses suffering economic hardship during this time, we are purchasing gift cards and tickets from those that have so generously given in the past. If you are a business that is in a position to help purchase these prizes, please contact library director, Sonya Huser by calling the library 419-446-2783.

Local History Project

Summer is a great time to get creative! Students of all ages and adults alike are invited to record their experiences in writing, photographs, and drawings, through this time in our world's history. Please contact Martie Yunker for more information or to submit your creative work. We will be compiling these submissions into a spiral bound book to be stored in our local history collection. A deadline has not been determined so take some time to consider your thoughts. We request written submissions be typed and emailed to Ms. Martie at

We know that Summer 2020 will look and feel different. We also know that, with parents' and caregivers' help, along with our community partners, we can rise above our current situation and provide the children and teens in our area, rich experiences that will help them remember this time in history as one of great learning and fond memories.