With warm weather finally in the air, the long days of summer must be just around the corner.

Librarians across Washington County have been hard at work preparing for the 2012 Washington County Cooperative Library Services Summer Reading program, which starts on Friday. People are invited to stop by their neighborhood library and sign-up for a summer of fun.

For adults, 'summer reading' often means finally finding enough hours in their day to read that best seller that has been sitting on their nightstand for the past six months. But this year, area libraries want to help folks make it mean just a little bit more. From June through August, the public libraries in Washington County will offer four unique summer reading programs designed for pre-readers, youth, teens and adults. 

'It is well documented that kids who read for pleasure in the summer retain academic skills and do better when they return to school in the fall,' said WCCLS Director Eva Calcagno. 'And it is not just in reading. Kids who do not read over the summer can slide backward in all subject areas. This can mean big losses in overall literacy growth compared to children who continue learning all year long.' 

Which is why when it comes to summer reading, people often think of children first. But in the 15 WCCLS member libraries, summer reading is wrapped up in a whole lot of fun for readers of all ages.

This summer, all 15 member libraries offer:

  • Angel Ocasio 'Komedy 4 da Kidz,' a high-energy, funny one-man variety show.

  • 'Mad Science,' a highly interactive, educational and captivating science show.

  • 'Presto the Magician,' magic show. 

    For participants up to age 18, libraries also have an array of reading rewards from community partners who share their passion for literacy - the Portland Trail Blazers, Washington County Fair, Portland Timbers and Oaks Amusement Park.

    But summer reading isn't just for young kids. Washington County libraries offer cool programs to teens and a countywide program for adults. This year, teen summer readers can pick up some fancy moves from programs by Yo Yo University.

    Adults may also participate in the summer reading program - taking advantage of great book lists to find new authors, or meet other bibliophiles at library programs this summer. Participants are invited to post their own book reviews to the catalog. On June 19, 20 and 27 libraries will host special events with best-selling author Philip Margolin. Learn how a full-time criminal defense lawyer became a successful mystery writer, where he gets his ideas from, and how he writes his novels. There are also opportunities for great prizes, such as hotel stays, theater tickets and more for the adults who sign up for summer reading online.

    This year's themes, by age category, are: Dream Big for pre-readers and youth, Own the Night for teens and Between the Covers for adults. 

    The Washington County Cooperative Library Services includes the: Banks Public Library, Beaverton City Library, Beaverton City Library @ Murray Scholls, Cedar Mill Community Library, Cedar Mill Community Library @ Bethany, Cornelius Public Library, Forest Grove City Library, Garden Home Community Library, Hillsboro Public Libraries (Main and Shute Park), North Plains Public Library, Sherwood Public Library, Tigard Public Library, Tualatin Public Library and West Slope Community Library.

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