Summer reading program soars at Truckee Library |

Summer reading program soars at Truckee Library

Teri Andrews Rinne
Special to the Sun
Hawk Talk took a pair of raptors to the Truckee Library for a special summer program event.
Courtesy photo |

As I explain every June, research has shown if your child’s brain remains stagnant without challenge over the summer months, they could lose nearly a whole reading level.

The Truckee Library’s annual summer reading program is the perfect antidote to summer brain drain, helping preserve and even enhance reading levels. We had yet another record-breaking summer with 420 children participating. Last year was the first year we surpassed the 300 benchmark. Imagine our surprise when we easily surpassed 400 just one year later, an astounding 25 percent increase!

Circulation statistics mirrored those gains, with increases in every genre in the children’s section, between 8 percent (chapter books) and 40 percent (non-fiction). Apparently, the demise of the public library is greatly exaggerated — at least here in Truckee, where we experienced one of the busiest summers ever!

For every five hours of reading, participants chose either a treasure chest prize or a gently used book to add to their permanent collection at home. Over 50 participants read the full 25 hours necessary to collect the grand prize: a gift certificate from the Bookshelf Stores, Inc., located at 11429 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.

There were seven special programs this summer to help encourage children to keep reading. A magic show kicked off the program in early July, followed by a raptor show called Hawk Talk, a stuffed animal sleep over, and, for the eighth year running, Wild Things, Inc. returned with its wild animal show.

This year the wildlife rescue organization brought a bush baby, a kinkajou, a one-eyed owl, a gila monster, an alligator snapping turtle and a monitor lizard. These are animals that either have injuries that keep them from surviving in the wild or animals individuals have tried to keep as illegal pets. Lucky attendees at this popular program learned about each individual animal, their personal history, as well as its natural history and importance to the environment.

For the first time ever, we partnered with the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe to bring the RUFF Reading program to the library. On three afternoons, young readers had an opportunity to read aloud to a therapy dog. It literally brought the theme “Paws to Read” to life.

We would like to give an extra-special thank you to the Friends of the Truckee Library for their generous funding for summer reading program materials, prizes and entertainment and to the Bookshelf for their awesome gift certificates. The Friends make the summer reading program possible and the Bookshelf helps make the experience so much richer for its participants.

Teri Andrews Rinne is the children’s services librarian at the Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave. Call 530-582-7846 or visit