Staff Report

With schools letting out and the summer solstice just around the corner, the Santa Barbara Public Library (SBPL) is launching its 2018 Summer Reading and Learning Program! From June 1 through August 15 all members of the community are invited to participate in this year’s program and Choose Adventure.

From early readers to adults, there is a reading challenge for everyone this summer as well as a full slate of classes and activities for all ages and interests.

For our littlest learners, parents and caregivers can log the amount of time they spend reading with children. Central and Eastside libraries are also expanding the number of early literacy classes offered, with 2-3 classes every day Monday through Saturday. See the library’s website for a full listing of times, formats, and age levels. Regular storytime schedules continue through the summer at Montecito, Carpinteria, Solvang, and Buellton branches.

Children who don’t continue to read when they are out of school typically regress several months or even a full grade level in reading skill. Studies show that reading for 20 minutes a day combats summer learning loss, which is the why Santa Barbara Public Library is challenging all kids to read 1,000 minutes over the summer. The Library also offers a wide array of programs for school age children, from reading with therapy dogs or volunteer reading buddies, to a full schedule of STEAM activities like coding with robots, engineering challenges, science experiments, art projects, and more!

Each week that a child spends time reading and then visits any of the SBPL libraries, they will earn a prize such as a free pool pass or museum trip – follow the library on social media or stop by a location to find out what the week’s prize is!  There are also challenges for children that earn them entries into grand prize drawings for Dodgers baseball tickets, MOXI passes, Cloud 10 passes, whale watching tour, Magnatiles set, slime-making kits, and more! Every child that meets the goal of reading 1,000 minutes will also receive a free book of their choice to keep, generously provided by the Friends the Library, as well as a final coupon pack. For a full list of prizes generously donated from community businesses, see the Santa Barbara Public Library website.

Teens and adults have their own challenges for the summer and can earn tickets towards grand prizes with each book they finish.

While the focus of the Summer Reading and Learning Program is jumping in and enjoying books and reading, the libraries have planned a number of events for the community to join in and Choose Adventure. From Harry Potter’s Birthday Party to American Idol Murder Mystery for teens to Tech Tastings for adults, everyone has something to look forward to.

To start off the summer, the Adult Summer Reading Kick-Off event will be at Wine Therapy at 732 State St. on Wednesday, June 6 from 6:30-8:30pm. Attendees can take home a blind date with a book, write a postcard on vintage typewriters, get on-on-one book recommendations, and more! All over 21 are welcome to come enjoy geeking out on all things books, reading, and library (and wine!).

For kids and families, the big opening celebration will be over the weekend, with parties in local parks. Families can sign up for summer reading, enjoy games and activities, and even giant bubbles! Join us at Alameda Kids World Park from10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 9, and Shoreline Park from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 10.

Community members can pick up a full schedule of Summer Reading events at the Buellton, Carpinteria, Central, Eastside, Montecito, and Solvang libraries.

The Santa Barbara Public Library is grateful to the myriad local businesses and the Friends of the Libraries that are supporting the Summer Reading Program through their donations of prizes.

The annual Summer Reading Program is a library tradition that instills and maintains a lifelong love of learning by encouraging everyone in the community to read and participate in events over the summer. Sign-up online and visit any Library in the Library System to read along and participate!

To stay informed individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter in English or Spanish. Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.