Summer reading programs remain mostly online in 2021

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Zoofari was one of the events part of the Denison summer reading program in 2019.

The continued worries over COVID-19 have most summer reading programs staying mainly online in 2021. 

Denison Public Library's Youth Services Director Deborah Wise said staying mostly online again this summer "is out of an abundance of caution." 

However, she was quick to point out that they will have in-person kick off and wrap up parties for the program this year.

Both the summer reading programs in Sherman and Denison have the same theme of "Tails and Tales," and will feature books about animals. The programs encourage the love of reading in entire families from youngsters with their first easy readers through adults seeking to sink into the latest fiction or nonfiction titles. Both programs will also use the online Beanstack website and app.

"Our opening celebration is gonna be June 12th and we will have photo ops with a live unicorn. And we will have face painting and games. We will have six weeks of online story time and there will be craft packets to go along with it," Wise said. The program will conclude with an in-person celebration with Kona Ice on July 24.

People can come into the library and pick up the craft packets each week to be ready to participate with the online fun. 

Children pose with McGruff the Crime Dog during the 2019 Denison summer reading closing program.

Folks of all ages can starting signing up for the summer reading challenge on June 7. They can log minutes reading and there will be prizes awarded for each tier.

"Then we will draw for grand prizes from those who complete the challenge," she said. 

Sherman won't be having an in person kick off, said, Youth Services Librarian Melissa Salazar. And they won't be having an in person wrap up party but they do plan to give out prizes. At SPL, the program participants can sign up online now at, and they can start logging reading on June 1.

The program will run from June 1 to August 1.

Summer reading participants earn free books and prizes from the library, and they can also post reviews of the books they read. 

Salazar said they are looking at doing some online craft projects during the summer and folks should watch the library's facebook page at to find out when those things will be happening. They will also be awarding prizes at the end of the program including a set of headband earphones, a 3D virtual reality headset and other items. 

Both libraries plan to reevaluate in person events in the early fall. 

Young readers listen as a book is read to them by Joyce Ullah at the Denison Public Library in 2017.