Summer Experience 2021

Summer Experience 2021

Summer Experience 2021 Blog Banner

What is Summer Experience?

You may be more familiar with the term "summer reading program."  We decided to change the name of our summer program because we felt that "summer reading program" didn't really capture the full scope of what we do here at Bossier Parish Libraries over the summer.  With dozens of innovative programs and events happening for all ages, your summer at Bossier Parish Libraries really is much more than reading--it's an experience!

When is it?

May 28-July 31.  Registration is now open; if you've participated in previous years, you already have an account and there's no need to create a new one.  You can begin logging your reading hours May 28 and the last day to log your reading time is July 31.

Who can participate in BPL's Summer Experience program?

Babies.  Toddlers.  Preschoolers.  Children.  Teens.  Adults.  Everyone!  Reading is important for everyone in the community, regardless of age, and reading is a skill that grows with practice throughout a lifetime.  It's free, easy to do because you read whatever you like at your own pace, and it's a fun, easy, and zero-risk way of showing your support for your local library and its services.  Everyone is encouraged to participate--we have programs and rewards for all ages from 0-100+  Ages zero and up...really?  Yes, really!  If your child is too young to read, the books you read to them count!

Is a library card required to participate?  Nope.  Everyone is welcome to join us...the only time you'll need a library card is to check out library materials.

How does it work?

  1. Choose your branch and register online.  This will be the branch where you claim your prizes so choose the best option for you. (If you've participated in previous years, you already have an account and there's no need to create a new one)
  2. Keep track of your reading time by logging hours (online or through the app).  If you don't have access to a smart-device or Internet, simply use a paper reading log you can get from your chosen branch, or print them from here.
    Printable Reading Logs:
    Read-to-Me (ages 0-5) | Independent Reader (ages 6-12) | Teen (ages 13-18) | Adult (ages 18+)
  3. Get prizes when you meet reading goals!

What are my reading goals?

  • Ages 0-5 (Read-to-Me Readers)
    • Half Goal = 2 hours
    • Full Goal = 4 hours
    • Can continue up to next level (8 hours) for a bonus prize
  • Ages 6-12 (Independent Readers)
    • Half Goal = 4 hours
    • Full Goal = 8 hours
    • Can continue up to next level (12 hours) for a bonus prize
  • Ages 13-18 (Teen Readers)
    • Half Goal = 6 hours
    • Full Goal = 12 hours
    • Can continue up to next level (16 hours) for a bonus prize
  • Ages 18+ (Adult Readers)
    • Half Goal = 8 hours
    • Full Goal = 16 hours
    • Can continue up to next level (20 hours) for a bonus prize

How do I claim my prize?

Once you have met your half or full goal you will be notified online or through the app.  Simply stop by your chosen branch to pick up your prize (prizes must be picked up in person).
(If you don't have access to the app or internet, simply bring your paper log into your chosen branch to claim your prize)

What books am I required to read?

Anything!  You can read any books you'd like.  And yes, audiobooks count.  Audiobooks aren't cheating.  Let's say it again, once more with feeling...AUDIOBOOKS AREN'T CHEATING.  You know what else isn't cheating?  Graphic novels...that's right, we said it.  Parents, guardians, caregivers...lend me your ears...that Goodnight Moon you've read for the 437th time in a row?...yep, that counts too!  Keep track of the time you spend reading to others, and log it on your own account beause that counts toward your own reading goals too.  Everybody rejoice! 

Are programs online or in-person?

The short answer is...BOTH!  We're thrilled to be offering a hybrid summer experience this year featuring both online and in-person programming.  You can catch the full line-up of our events on our calendar.

One thing we're really excited about is offering Page Turner Animal Adventures this year!  In this eight-week series, there are five days of programming for each weekly theme.  Each week includes:  Show Day (original, interactive shows that are sure to engage kids); Craft Day (simple, fun crafts that inspire creativity); Author/Illustrator Day (short interviews with some of the best creators out there); Mashup Day (recipes, games, bonus crafts and other fun stuff); and Special Guest/Field Trip Day (virtual visits to some amazing places and people including mini-shows from other fantastic performers)!  Content for the week will go live on the Monday of that week so keep an eye out!

Why are summer library programs important?

Summer library programs encourage children, youth, and families to read.  Traditionally summer reading programs are designed to encourage elementary-aged children to keep reading during summer vacation.  Preventing the "summer slide" continues to be the main objective of our summer library program.  For many families with elementary-aged children, the public library is the only community space available during the summer months where they can access free educational and cultural enrichment activities and programs.

Benefits of summer library programs for children include:

  • Children are motivated to read.  Reading for fun during the summer helps children maintain or improve their skills so that they are ready to start school again in the fall.
  • Children develop positive attitudes about reading books, and the library by giving them rewards for meeting reading goals.
  • Children maintain their reading skills during summer break from school.  Studies have shown that children who read during the summer are more able to maintain their reading skills and that children who see their parents read, or who read with their parents, generally score higher on standardized tests.
  • Children have access to experiences that further their sense of discovery.
  • Children have access to experiences through which they can learn to work cooperatively.

How do I sign up?

Register Online

If you've participated in previous years, you already have an account, your account still exists and there's no need to create a new one--simply log in and choose the correct age range to reactivate for Summer Experience.  You can also download the ReadSquared app (available for free in the Apple or Google Play store) to register and track your reading hours.  If you don't have access to the Internet, a smart phone, or have trouble registering, you can stop in at your local branch and they can help you.  Keep in mind that the branch you choose will be the branch you will log your reading hours for, and will visit to claim your prizes, so choose the branch that is most convenient for you.

Still have questions?

We'll be happy to answer any questions you have.  Email us

Join our Facebook Group for up-to-date Summer Experience news, programs, activities, and updates!