School’s out, but the library is in full swing

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Youth

Schools are just getting out, but we’re gearing up for our busiest season of the year. In our ​kickoff celebration of summer reading, the Children’s Festival of Reading aimed to engage kids and families in library programs during the summer break. Thousands of people came out to meet authors and illustrators and to sample what the summer has in store. It was a great day!


The library is offering an array of programs over the summer as part of our year-long Read City – Oceans of Possibilities campaign. The summer leg of the million-hour challenge is called Dive-in Deep. Readers of all ages and levels are encouraged to read and log a total of 30 hours by August 7. Finding a book won’t be hard! Librarians are on hand to help with book suggestions and guidance.

To keep the momentum going, we are offering prizes, incentives and programs. Participants can join in a couple of ways: download the Beanstack Tracker App (search for Knox County Library) or pick up a Dive-In Deep logging map with stickers and ocean-themed activities. All programs and materials are free.

Upon completing the challenge, kids and teens will earn a Rewards Books with $200 worth of eats and treats as well as a mini plush sea creature or a Lego kit. Adults can earn a Read City tote bag, travel mug or a telescopic straw set.

“One of the great things about summer reading is that kids get to choose what they want to read, and that can make all the difference in the world to raising a reader,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “I encourage all families to read this summer.”

Research shows that reading over the summer and participating in enrichment activities can prevent learning loss during the summer break. Statistically, the summer slide does not affect all students equally. Having access to free activities and resources is important to keep all kids engaged.

June programs and activities include: 

The Wonder of Science with Dr. Al Hazari 

  • June 14 | 1 p.m. | Karns Branch Library
  • June 14 | 4 p.m. | Powell Branch Library
  • June 16 | 3 p.m. | Norwood Branch Library
  • June 21 | 2 p.m. | South Knoxville Branch Library
  • June 23 | 4 p.m. | Corryton Branch Library
  • June 28 | 2:30 p.m. | Murphy Branch Library
  • June 30 | 4 p.m. | Mascot Branch Library

Magic with Michael Messing

  • June 4 | 2 p.m. | Halls Branch Library
  • June 11 | 11 a.m. | Fountain City Branch Library
  • June 11 | 3 p.m. | Carter Branch Library
  • June 13 | 5 p.m. | Burlington Branch Library
  • June 18 | 11 a.m. | Howard Pinkston Branch Library
  • June 25 | 11 a.m. | North Knoxville Branch Library

Zoo Knoxville Zoomobile

  • June 2 | 10:30 p.m. | Sequoyah Branch Library
  • June 2 | 4 p.m. | Corryton Branch Library
  • June 8 | 2 p.m. | Farragut Branch Library
  • June 13 | 11 a.m. | Cedar Bluff Branch Library
  • June 15 | 3 p.m. | North Knoxville Branch Library
  • June 22 | 3 p.m. | Lawson McGhee Library
  • June 29 | 11 p.m. | Carter Branch Library

Other programs at the Knox County Public Library include ocean-themed art shows, crafts, and story times. A full schedule of events can be found here.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for the Knox County Public Library.

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