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With programs for a variety of ages, summer reading in Lake Oswego is off to a strong start

PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Andrea Brennan (left) helps her ten year old daughter Miriam sign up for the summer reading program.Summer reading at the Lake Oswego Public Library is out of this world this year, with "A Universe of Stories" ready to be explored by readers of all ages. There are a variety of ways to participate, from pre-reader to reader (kindergarten through 5th grade) and the teen summer reading challenge (for sixth grade through high school).

Library Youth and Technical Services Manager Andrea Milano said the program is on track to have more participants than ever. "We already have over 200 teen readers registered right now, and it's only two weeks into summer reading," she said. "Last year we had about 370 at the end of the summer."

Milano thinks one incentive to signing up is that teens receive a free book just for signing up. Kids and pre-readers have to wait until their reading log is complete to receive this prize. However, younger kids get rewarded in a different way for signing up in the children's room of the library. They'll receive a coupon to Bullwinkle's Family Fun Center for free mini golf or Kidopolis Playland, a Portland Thorns or Timbers ticket, a coupon for 40% admission at Oaks Park, a Friends of the Library Booktique coupon and more. Milano said a total of 1,263 kids have signed up so far.

Summer reading themes each year are chosen on a national level, and local libraries choose how to incorporate the national resources into their program. This year, Milano and other library staff members were quite fond of the theme, "A Universe of Stories," and have decorated the library with out-of-this-world decorations while planning much of their summer programming around the theme. "We're doing a lot of crafts, like making planets, making slime, creating rocket launchers and marshmallow 'asteroid' shooters," Milano said. The library will also be visited by representatives from the University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History, who will present a program called "Our Place in Space," Friday, June 28. All programs are from 2-3 p.m.

There are three weeks chock full of activities for summer reading participants; check the sidebar for details.

"Summer at the library is just so different from the school year," Milano said. "They have endless hours in front of them to read, and kids will walk out of here with like 10 books stacked up. We spend a lot of time helping kids pick out different books they might be interested in."

Milano said she has also enjoyed seeing library staff get into the program. "This year we made summer reading shirts, so it's awesome to see the staff wearing them, and you can tell they're really excited about it," she said. "We also have a lot of great teen volunteers. Some of them are returning for the second or third time, so it's been nice to reconnect with them."PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Andrea Milano and other library staff decorated the childrens library for the space-themed reading program.

If readers complete the required hours for each age group, the rewards continue: a complimentary Benihana kids meal, a Lloyd Center Ice Rink BOGO coupon including skate rental, a coupon for a free Trail Blazer ticket, a ticket to the Oregon State Fair and a $5 library fine voucher. Readers will be able to pick up their prizes with their completed reading log starting July 1.

Library card holders 18 and up can participate in "Lazinfest," named after the German word "lesen" meaning "to read." Rather than filling out reading logs on paper, Lazinfest participants are able to log their completed books online. Teens participating in

summer reading also have this option.

Lazinfest participants will be entered into weekly prize drawings, and a grand prize drawing for a stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel on the Oregon coast.

Teens and adults can sign up for summer reading at the library (706 4th St, Lake Oswego) or online at https://tinyurl.com/y5x6nlsm/. All summer reading programs goes through August 31.


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