Branigan Library Hosts Summer Reading Program -

Libraries are magical places, for young and old alike. A bold imagination and a willingness to read are tickets to these wonderful temples of knowledge. Now you’ve got one more reason to visit your local library! This summer, the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library in Las Cruces will once again host a local portion of the national Summer Reading Program, for both children and adults. The theme this year is All Together Now, and the dates are June 3 – July 16, 2023. Early registration begins on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

The kick-off on June 3 will have a carnival theme, with games, crafts, music, and reading. More importantly, it will launch the Summer Reading Program for all ages, in which children and teens must read for 20 minutes in 7 days, and adults must read for 20 minutes in 14 days. Once the milestone is reached, prizes are awarded, and the process starts all over again.

“Some libraries have a bigger push for children because you want to get them while they’re young and instill the love of reading,” said Senior Librarian Shuly Serrano. “But ours is for everyone because we really want to be inclusive. Really, it’s about fostering togetherness, peace, cooperation, working together, and we thought that was very appropriate.”

Joining the Summer Reading Program

To become involved, participants can pick any book they care to read, in any format. It can be print, e-book, audiobook, an article, or even by reading to kids. They then log in to Beanstack —  a website/app used by many libraries and schools — enter what they read, and if they continue for the allotted number of days, they get an electronic badge. That could add up to one badge per week, over six weeks!

Similar in ways to Goodreads, the Beanstack app allows you to log your reading and sign up for specific reading challenges. The only in-person component is that winners will have to go to the library to personally pick up their prizes, which include water bottles, stickers, fidget spinners, stress balls, coloring books, and more.

“We tell people they can read just 20 minutes a day if they want,” Shuly says. “As long as they do it for seven days for kids, or 14 days for adults. At the end of the day, we want people to read what they want. That’s what kind of spurs that love of reading: When you can read what it is that your heart desires.”

Shuly also adds that for those who complete the program with all required badges, they will be entered into a special drawing to win a grand prize sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Fun for the Whole Family!

Among the many activities tied into the Summer Reading Program will be the “Paper People Span the Library” activity, at both the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and the Sage Café Library.

“It will basically be little paper people that kids can decorate and then hang throughout the library,” says Shuly. “They are made of colorful construction paper, which the kids can decorate to look like them. Those will be introduced at our kick-off day, but it will be ongoing throughout the event.”

Other events include a program called “Stick Together: Duct Tape, Bowties, and Bracelets,” on June 14 and 15, where kids can use duct tape to create fun objects to wear. Also included is “Fusion Beads,” on July 12, wherein people can draw designs on the beads, then heat them up so they fuse together to make a decoration.

For the adults, there will be a book discussion on June 30, about Big Friendship, written by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. These are just a fraction of the fun events presented by the library daily, throughout the event, and beyond, all aimed at encouraging people of all ages to keep reading and learning about the world around them.

“In addition to our Kick-Off Day on June 3, we’re also going to have an end-of-summer reading finale on July 14,” says Shuly. “We want it to be memorable for everybody. We just want to encourage people to come to the library, get involved, and try something new. We want people to know that we’re here for the community.”

For more information about the Summer Reading Program at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, including a full calendar of events, check the website. If you don’t find what you need there, call Shuly Serrano at 575-528-4024, or email her at [email protected]. Then get your registration in for one of the most exciting summer programs available, and let your imagination take flight.

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