owasso library

Owasso Library Manager Jennifer Ballard and her 12-member staff recently kicked off their 2019 Summer Reading Program and are already seeing a record number of participants walk through the doors. Courtesy photo

This summer, locals are spending more time getting lost in a good book – thanks in large part to the Owasso Library.

Manager Jennifer Ballard and her 12-member staff recently kicked off their 2019 Summer Reading Program and are already seeing a record number of participants walk through the doors.

The Summer Reading Program, hosted every year by the Tulsa County Library, serves to develop and nurture patrons’ love of books, learning and the library. This year, the program is being held May 28-Aug. 3.

This year’s theme – “A Universe of Stories” – comprises titles for readers of all ages: birth to pre-K, teens and tweens, and adults.

Ballard said the library’s events on Tuesday, June 4, brought in over 1,300 people. She has already signed up over 3,000 kids, teens and adults in Owasso alone over a period of seven days.

“So far at this point in the Summer Reading Program, those are the biggest numbers we’ve ever seen,” Ballard said, especially of youth utilizing the library’s offerings. “I think it’s because it means kids are reading and making it a priority over the summer.”

For children, the Owasso Library offers PAWS for Reading, Build a Reader Storytime and Stay & Play, Early Readers Book Club and more. Teens and tweens can also enjoy the Avenging Bookling Book Club, and adults can participate in the Fiction Addiction Book Club.

Ballard said the Summer Reading Program is more than just a fun activity for locals, particularly young children, to enjoy. It can make a substantial difference in how they perform in the classroom and in other areas at school.

“There’s been studies done that have shown that kids who read over the summer go into the next school year reading at or above where they were when they left in the spring, and kids that don’t read in the summer can sometimes be two or three months behind,” Ballard said.

“It makes me happy to see them get excited about reading and reading for pleasure and having it be something other than playing video games and starring at a TV screen; using their imaginations is really good for them.”

For more information about the Owasso Library’s Summer Reading Program, visit tulsalibrary.org/summer.

Art is a seasoned reporter of over 15 years with an extended background in writing and editing for a variety of publications and organizations.