Summer reading options abound

The New York State Education Department and New York State Library are partnering with 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide to launch the 2019 Summer Reading at New York Libraries program, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced. The free, annual program gives children the opportunity to access the vast resources of New York’s public libraries to support their summer reading.

“Public libraries are cornerstones of communities — families rely on libraries to provide free educational resources and programs for their children, especially during the summer when school is out of session,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “More than 2.4 million students participated in the program last year and we hope to grow that number this summer by encouraging parents, caregivers and teachers to bring their children and students to the library and participate in a free summer reading program.”

“It’s so important for children to continue learning during the summer and our summer reading program helps them stay engaged and prevent the summer slide,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “Whether it’s print books, e-books or audio books, there’s something for everyone to read and enjoy at their local library. I encourage children and families to visit their local library and register for a summertime of free reading, learning and fun.”

This year’s Summer Reading Program slogan is “A Universe of Stories.” At HML, people of all ages will have an abundance of programs, events and reading raffles to choose from. There will be story times, music events, art, STEAM programs and more. They’re too numerous to mention so follow us on Facebook or go to our website for all of the details.

For the second year, NYSED is partnering with myON by Renaissance to provide thousands of enhanced digital books to children from birth to 12th grade and their families all around the state. Readers can log into myON via one statewide login to access a digital library of more than 6,000 e-books using any web-enabled device. There’s an option to download up to 20 books at a time through a free app for reading offline, as well as resources and tips for parents and educators, including on-demand videos, tip sheets, strategies and more to support meaningful family literacy experiences. This access to free digital children’s books will be available for New York state students and families through Sept. 30. Families with young children may also access fun daily reading activities all summer — including songs, poems, crafts, PBS videos and a free E-book of the day — with the State Library’s DayByDayNY online early literacy calendar (also available in Spanish).

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Chair of the Education Committee, said, “Summer reading is essential for students to retain the academic skills learned in the previous school year, to avoid the ‘summer slide,’ and to find joy in books and texts. I am pleased to support NYSL and NYSED’s Summer Reading Program to help our students thrive in school year after year. In so many of our towns and cities, our public libraries are community hubs for residents of all ages and one of my top priorities is to ensure libraries have the necessary resources to offer the programs their communities need. The Summer Reading Program brings children and families to our local libraries to read books and explore ideas that shape and expand young minds.”

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Tina Winstead is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Monday. Her columns may also be found online at