Beyond Books by Ruby Smart, Youth Services Manager

Virtual Bookworm – How’s That Work?

Originally published in the Chillicothe Gazette, May 31, 2020

Each spring, the Youth Services department visits every school in Ross County to spread the word about Bookworm, our summer reading program. We do a silly skit in front of thousands of kids, make fools of ourselves, and we love it! I always tell the kids that Bookworm is my favorite time of the year, and that’s not acting. I love Bookworm!

Bookworm has been my favorite part of the year since my son participated for the first as a baby, years before I ever worked at the library. There is something special about that kickoff party:  watching hundreds of people gather at the library and have fun. Then there is the finale party and watching all the kiddos march through the park to celebrate reading.

The library starts planning for the next Bookworm each year in August. By February of this year everything was planned, and we had booked some fantastic programs for our community this summer. I mean, this is the 66th Bookworm. We have it down to a science now.

Then in March, everything changed and hard decisions had to be made. Schools closed and so did the library, but we did what we do best. We adapted and moved to a virtual platform. Now we have a summer full of new online programs, and it’s going to be great! We have everything from bees to making your own didgeridoo. Do you want to learn how to build a fort, make a healthy snack, or slime? We’ll teach you!

Bookworm is not just for kids. It’s for all ages, babies through adults. For grownups, we have online book clubs and virtual game nights. You can learn to cook, too! You can even make your own didgeridoo! It’s not just for kids.

Bookworm kicks off tomorrow, June 1st, and the timing is perfect because the drive-through at Northside opens tomorrow for pickups, too! You can go online right now and put a few books on hold to start your summer reading. While you’re there, you can also pre-register for Bookworm now so that you’re ready to start logging your progress first thing tomorrow. Visit www.crcpl.org/bookworm. If you need help registering, visit our YouTube page for a video that helps walk you through it.

Do you have kids at home who need new books to read? We now offer parent/caregiver collections that allow you to request up to 20 books (based on availability) on a particular theme or topic. Youth Services will curate a selection of books for you to pick up at Northside.

The Bookworm theme this summer is “Imagine Your Story,” and we want you to tell us YOUR Bookworm story! It can be just words, or you can submit a photo with a few sentences, a poem, a play, an interview—whatever works for you. We would love a video! Email your stories to bookworm@crcpl.org.

The official Bookworm kickoff is online June 1st at 6:00 p.m. We will have a special guest to read everyone a story. You can watch it live on Facebook or YouTube. Links for these and all our events are listed on our website www.crcpl.org.