Tuscaloosa Public Library brings back summer reading program
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Mason Smith
After two years off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tuscaloosa Public Library is bringing back its in-person summer reading program.
Beginning Monday, June 6, the program is taking place every Monday through Thursday through July 28, save the first week of July.
Programming will take place at the main branch on Jack Warner Parkway, the Weaver Bolden Branch on Lanier Avenue and the Brown Branch on Bobby Miller Parkway. In addition to storytime events, there will also be live performances at the Northport Civic Center on Mondays and at various library locations throughout the rest of the week.
“We have a lot of things planned for the summer,” said TPL Youth Service Manager Haley Bryant. “We’re really excited because this is the first in-person programming summer that we’ve had with performers since 2019.”
The library has hosted smaller-scale programs since COVID got under better control. When things were more dire, the library hosted storytime over local radio stations and virtually.
Another program the community enjoyed last summer was the library’s “story walk,” where families traveled along outdoor trails in Tuscaloosa like at Sokol Park, where they could read pages posted on podiums that made up a full story.
“People felt safe and their kids loved walking and reading the story,” said TPL Youth and Community Service Librarian Kaitlyn Lynch. “It’s just a really good activity for families to do outside.”
Bryant said the library established a permanent story walk at Jaycee Park in October, but it is currently under repair.
As this year’s summer reading program returns to the library, staff members and the community are filled with anticipation and optimism.
“I think we’ve gone all out this year with decorations,” Bryant said. “All three of our branches are beautiful, and we’re so ready and excited for it.”
So far the community’s response has been great, Lynch said.
“People come up and ask ‘Are we doing the summer big again?’ because they enjoyed the story times and everything, but the performers that come in just add a whole different experience for their kids,” Lynch said. “They’ve been asking and are so excited to know that it’s going to be a big event again this year.”
If you’re interested in the summer reading program, you can learn more or register right here.
Check out the calendar of events below: