The Bartlesville Public Library invites the public to help celebrate the close of the Summer Reading Program with a grand finale — a free rock concert at Sooner Park.
The event will be held at the Sooner Park band shell on July 28 and will feature the band “The Usual Suspects,” vendors and activities. Activities will start at 4 p.m. with the band playing from 5-8 p.m.
“The Summer Reading Program ‘Libraries Rock’ was a record-breaking success this year with more than 1,240 kids signed up,” said Youth Services Librarian Laura Pryce. “These were kids of all ages, from a few months old to 19.”
Pryce said the number of kids participating this season far surpassed previous years.
“I remember barely reaching 1,000 registrations once in my 20 years at the library,” she said. “We usually have anywhere from 600-800 kids participating, which is great, but the more young people we can reach out to, the better.”
Shorties Grille and Bartlesville Ice Cream trucks will be selling food, beverages and treats at the upcoming concert, and Captain Armando will be making free balloon creations. The library will provide other activities such as rock painting and a photobooth.
“The Summer Reading Program’s purpose is to encourage kids to continue reading throughout the summer in order to avoid the ‘summer slide’ while they’re out of school. Participants are accountable for their reading and get prizes for reporting what they’ve read, or had read to them, each week,” said Pryce.
Not only that, the library provides lots of fun events throughout the program, Pryce said.
“We’ve had everything from a juggler to a magician, storytelling to karaoke, big trucks to cool rocks, swimming and dancing to science and theater,” she said.
Pryce said the citizen volunteer group Bartlesville Friends of the Library has a lot to do with the program’s success.
“I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Bartlesville Friends of the Library for funding our Summer Reading Program each year,” she said. “These are volunteers who work hard to raise money for the library through their annual membership drive and bookstore. Much of this program’s success is because of their ideas, support, enthusiasm and dedication.”
The bookstore is open during regular library hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1:30-5:30 p.m. on Sundays September through May. (The library is closed on Sundays during the summer months.)
The Bartlesville Public Library is located at 600 S. Johnstone Ave. in downtown Bartlesville. For more information, see bartlesvillelibrary.com.