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Shaler North Hills Library summer reading program kicks off

| Friday, June 1, 2018, 2:37 p.m.
Ingrid Kalchthaler, library and youth services coordinator at Shaler North Hills Library, reads Curious George during a program.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Ingrid Kalchthaler, library and youth services coordinator at Shaler North Hills Library, reads Curious George during a program.

Shaler North Hills Library wants to ensure that students' literacy skills remain in tune over their summer break and patrons of all ages have access to their favorite genres when reading for leisure.

The “Libraries Rock!” summer reading program is running through Sept. 5.

“It's really more about summer learning and helping students continue to succeed; reading for pleasure is learning even though it is super fun,” said library Director Sharon McRae.

If children have difficulty finding books to suit their interests, they may call the library's children's department to request assistance.

“We have programs for all ages and stages,” said Ingrid Kalchthaler, library youth services coordinator. “So, at whatever level you're enjoying a book, please come. Summer reading is summer learning, too, and it's a wonderful time to engage your brain and read what you'd like to read for enjoyment. We will personally give you a tailored book-find mission to your desires and needs.”

The library is offering the following summer programming: LEGO robotics, craft and language classes, drama club, recorder music lessons, kindergarten preparation, reading readiness workshops, “Rock Around the World” cultural learning seminars, an ice cream extravaganza, lip sync battles, and “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Dr. Who” fandom nights, a car cruise, Shaler Great Gardens Tour and a Touch-A-Truck event.

“We have a lot of stuff. We are really excited about this year,” Kalchthaler said.

McRae said that the library will work in conjunction with community partners such as preschools, daycares, the Shaler Area School District and Etna, Millvale, Reserve and West View to offer the summer events.

McRae said that she loves the library's summer atmosphere.

“This is when we see people checking out lots of materials. It's busy year-round, but I enjoy seeing everyone a little less harried with their daily lives for a month or so before all the school activities kick in again. Summer flies by.”

Those who register for the summer reading program online at or at the library are eligible for reading-based incentives. Young children earn “book bucks,” redeemable at the library store, for each hour that they read. Tweens — in fourth through sixth grade — may choose between earning “book bucks” for each hour they read or raffle tickets for weekly drawings for $25. For every book they read, teens will receive scratch-off tickets with instant prizes and raffle tickets for grand prizes, like $100, drawn at the end of summer.

Adults can win tickets to see the Pittsburgh Pirates, or to visit the Sen. John Heinz History Center, The National Aviary, The Andy Warhol Museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and The Pittsburgh Opera by completing a raffle form at the reference desk for every two books they read or listen to in audio format. Adults also are eligible for every 10 books they read to a child.

The Collaborative Summer Library Program, a consortium of states providing summer reading program materials at reduced costs to public libraries, developed the theme for its partner libraries.

“Yes, libraries rock, but really, it's reading that rocks, and it is really the people who visit the library and use the library who rock,” McRae said.

For details, call the library's children's department at 412-486-0211, ext. 116.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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