A portrait of handsome little boy with fair hair and blue eyes holding a book in his hands while standing over white background having happy expression looking directly into camera.Education concept.

'Imagine Your Story' is this year's summer reading theme.

Mamie’s Place and Adelia M. Russell Library staff have put together a cohesive summer reading program for everyone, despite the challenges of maintaining library services in the midst of the ever-changing landscape of the coronavirus pandemic, said library director Amy Huff. Registration begins June 1. Fillable registration forms are available online, along with digital reading logs for this summer’s program. 

“Even though we may be distancing, we will provide everything needed for virtual and online successful summer programming, including fun stay-at-home ideas, books, crafts, games and entertainment, along with other resources,” said Huff.

Residents without internet access could participate by visiting the library at 284 Church St. in Alexander City to register and pick up a log and other materials, including make-and-take projects and idea packages.

Crafts, games and other activities also will be uploaded weekly for stay-at-home fun, Huff said.  

This year’s summer reading theme is ‘Imagine Your Story’ and invites readers to begin a quest to find their stories.

“Challenge yourself to read or explore books and subjects you have never tried,” Huff suggested.

To stimulate the thinking process, the library staff brainstormed a few ideas to help readers get started.

Help yourself – Explore ways to improve one or more aspects of your personal life.

Choose a book by its cover – What drew you to the book? Was it something about the cover that reminded you of a life event?

Historical fiction – There are hundreds of great books that tell a fictional story based on real events.

Visit the classics – There are hundreds of timeless classics that individuals can relate to, regardless of the time in which they live.

A book by any other name – To this day, we use expressions and idioms based on the writings of the great English author, Shakespeare.

Peoples of the world – It is always good to expand your horizons. Learning the similarities and differences of other cultures is a great way to do just that.

Get to know a celebrity – In our modern “celebrity-dominated” world, reading the work of a favorite celebrity may give you a different perspective about that person.

Young adult novels – There are many great novels of interest to those in this transitional part of life.

Q, X or Z – Just finding books with these lesser-used letters could be a fun adventure.

Food for thought – We all love food of some type. Find a book about one of your favorites and explore in depth.

Poetry – Poems cover the entire gamut of the human experience. Find those with your favorite theme or themes and read, read, read.

Fall in love – Romance is something that most people can relate to as a significant emotional human experience during their lives.  

Feed your faith – Reach for something related to the spiritual side of your life.  

Maybe even try reading an eBook, Huff said.

“There are thousands of eBooks available in fiction, non-fiction, history, romance and an almost limitless number of topics,” she said. “Who knows, you may find another genre that just might become your new favorite. Keep an open mind and dare to expand your horizons.”

With schools closing early this year, continuing to promote literacy-rich activities has been a priority for Mamie’s Place, Huff said. Both Mamie’s Place and Adelia M. Russell Library provide free access to educational programs, cultural and enrichment activities and materials that can help bridge the ‘summer slide.’

There are numerous benefits of summer reading, she added. Not only does reading enhance knowledge, but also, children develop positive attitudes about reading, books and the library.  They often experience a sense of discovery and learn to work collaboratively and independently through summer reading programs. 

While summer reading usually tends to sway more toward children and teens, adults can join in, as well, Huff said. To participate, call the library to register over the phone.  

Both library buildings are open for library material access with limitations, practicing safe and healthy common-sense guidelines.

Call Adelia M. Russell Library at 256-329-6796 or Mamie’s Place Children’s Library at 256-234-4644 for more information about the summer reading program, ‘Imagine Your Story,’ or other library services. Or visit the website at www.alexandercityal.gov and library Facebook pages, which are updated daily with summer reading links.