ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — All through the long hot days of summer you can escape the heat and get into the fun at your local library.
The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library’s 2018 summer reading program, dubbed “Libraries Rock!,” offers a wealth of activities for families and kids, from toddlers to teens.
“We want to bring families to the library,” said Library Youth Services Manager Debbie Hassi.
Summer activities kicked off on June 2 and will continue through July 28 at 16 of the 17 libraries in the local system. There will be a weeklong break in early July for the Independence Day holiday. All the special events are free, but registration is required for some activities because of limited space.
Families with young kids can enjoy dancing at one of the “Pint Sized Polkas” with Mike Schneider or Hip-Hop Dance with Keshet Dance. Jacqueline Zander-Wall, artistic director of the Artistry Art Song Festival, will be holding sing-along sessions where kids ages 9 to 12 can learn the basics of singing from a professional.
Local musician and teacher Kevin Kinane will show teens ages 13 to 17 how to play a Hohner harmonica. Participants will get to keep the instrument, Hassi said.
The Science of Sound events, also targeted at the 13- to 17-year-old age group, features a professional recording artist who will demonstrate how he cuts vinyl records. “If there is time, they will have one or more vinyl records cut at each session,” Hassi said.
For plain old fun, there’s the Big Bubble Circus with Jim Jackson, the Flying Debris Show with Richard Holmgren and Magic with Animals with John Polinko.
And of course, libraries are about reading.
“We want to encourage everyone to read,” Hassi said.
Participants who sign up during the 8-week summer reading program can log time spent reading and be eligible for prizes. Hassi said the idea is to help school children continue reading during the summer vacation so they retain skills they’ve learned in school.
“We want to foster the habit of reading. We want people to schedule the library in as part of their summer routine,” she said.
Program activities are primarily funded with money raised by the Friends For the Public Library through sales of donated books, CDs and board games. Last year, around 16,000 children and adults participated.
The process to build the summer program begins in the fall. Hassi said the New Mexico State Library holds an exposition where performers who want to be hired for the program can demonstrate their talents. Hassi said they try to get them all booked by the beginning of the year.
For information or to register, go to abqlibrary.org/summerreading or call the individual libary.