COLLIN BREAUX | The News

KINSLEY COOK

Families looking for fun activities this summer can visit Washington County Public Library, which is hosting a variety of events. 

Upcoming events include a Scholastic Book Fair held at the Chipley Library (1444 Jackson Ave.) June 17-20, giving kids who didn’t get to go to the book fair a chance during the seasonal break.

Additionally, there is a Bits N Pieces Puppet Show for June 13 that all families are welcome to. 

Library Director Renae Rountree said the Division of Library and Information Services at the state level provides access to the Collaborative Summer Library Program that dozens of states across the country use every year. 

“Summer may be crazy and busy but it is my favorite time of the year,” Rountree said. “We see tons of kids and get to do cool stuff that we normally wouldn’t normally do.” 

Summer library programs can help offset summer learning loss and provide reading experiences kids may not have during the school year, Rountree said. 

“Summer is a time when kids can read what they want. Whatever is interesting to them is available at their local library for free,” Rountree said. “There are no deadlines, no tests, and no book reports.”

Public libraries provide resources to reach communities frequently, Rountree said. One example of this effort are the shelf-stable meals for kids that will be distributed throughout the summer season by the Sam Mitchell Public Library in Vernon. 

Summer read programming planning starts months in advance for the library.

The library’s first planning for summer 2024 started in October 2023 when they received our summer reading manual and found out the theme would be “Adventure Begins at Your Library”. 

“When it comes to booking outside entertainment like our Bits N Pieces Puppet Shows scheduled for June 13, those dates were picked over six months ago,” Rountree said. “The library tries to be considerate and avoid competing with school district summer events, vacation bible schools, and other community summer offerings for kids so that kids don’t have to miss out on any potential summer fun.”

Hundreds of staff hours will be committed to events that are only a few weeks, which is an addition to their regular programming for kids and the day to day operations, she said.

“Summer may be crazy and busy but it is my favorite time of year,” Rountree said. “We see tons of kids and get to do cool stuff that we wouldn’t normally do. Plus summer programming is a chance to try something completely different than