The Evanston Public Library Summer Reading Program isn’t just for kids anymore. This year the library will host programs for all ages to encourage the entire community to enjoy the pleasures of summer reading together.

Prizes, raffles, special events, parties and live music will all play a role in this year’s program, the theme of which is “Have Book, Will Travel.”

The program will run at all three library locations anytime the library is open, and for select times at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and Robert Crown Center, in coordination with children’s camp times.

“What better companion on a warm summer night or as you relax on the weekend, than a good book? If your plans prevent travel away from home this summer, you can visit far-away places and be introduced to new cultures through reading or viewing one of the many titles in our collections,” Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons said.

For the first time in nearly a decade, EPL is hosting an adult reading program. Each week, adults who read a book, magazine or newspaper can head to the nearest library location, look for the special suitcase, and enter a weekly raffle.

Prizes include two tickets to a Northwestern football game, dinner for two, Starbucks gift certificate, autographed books from authors including Gillian Flynn, Laurence Gonzales, Garry Wills, Joseph Epstein, Henry Kisor, and more, and a grand prize. The adult summer reading program runs from June 1 to July 31.

For children preschool-5th grade

Children are invited to read, be read to, or listen to their favorite books this summer. Early registration begins on May 20 at all library locations with an early registration prize as long as supplies last. The Children’s Summer Reading Program runs from June 17 to July 27.

Every week, children can stop by the library to participate and win weekly prizes like free frozen custard from Andy’s or coupons to McDonald’s or Potbelly. After reading nine hours, children will win a free book. Early registration for the children’s reading program begins today at all library locations in conjunction with an outreach program of EPL staff who will be visiting 15 elementary schools, from today through June 10  to promote the program to school children.

Last year, 3500 children registered for the program. It was the eighth year in a row that the number of children registered for the program increased.

For students in grades 6-12

The Loft’s EPIC Summer Reading Program runs from June 1 to July 31. By stopping in and registering, and then filling out a reading log throughout the summer, teens can earn raffle tickets to win gift cards to restaurants and shops, popular YA books, and a chance to win the grand prize of a $100 gift card to Old Orchard Mall.

The Summer Reading Program Kick-Off event brings Steven Frenzel of Marquee Movie Productions to the Main Library on Saturday, June 1 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM. Steven shares movie clips, movie trivia, and pop quizzes about libraries in the movies.

The Summer Reading Program Wrap-up is on Saturday July 20th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM and  features Jutta and the Hi Dukes, a band that sings in eighteen languages.The Grand Prize will be drawn at the event. Winner need not be present to win.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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