Libraries want youth to take shot at reading
by Mark Andrews
Jul 28, 2011 | 2518 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ally Schmanski, an upcoming first-grader at Mission Road Elementary, checks out books from the Cartersville Public Library on Wednesday. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Ally Schmanski, an upcoming first-grader at Mission Road Elementary, checks out books from the Cartersville Public Library on Wednesday. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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As summer break draws to an end, the Bartow County Library System and Atlanta Hawks are providing an incentive for children and teens to continue reading outside of school.

"Our summer reading program ends Saturday [July 30] and it's been a really good summer," said Youth Services Librarian Thomas Shalin. "But the Check it Out Reading Challenge goes on until Aug. 19."

The Check it Out Reading Challenge provides participating youth with a fondness of reading an opportunity to go see the Atlanta Hawks basketball team.

"Ideally, you check out five books from your library and you go on their website, www.checkitoutreading.com, and then you register with your contact information and the books you've read and you'll receive one free Atlanta Hawks ticket for the 2011-2012 season," Shalin said.

According to the website, the ticket only is redeemable on certain dates.

Shalin said reading programs for youth that provide an incentive prove successful, but the library already sees a steady stream of young patrons.

"The way Check it Out Reading is, it's just a bonus," Shalin said. "People are really excited to hear about it because all the libraries, for the most part, are taking part in this."

He added, "I know that the incentives we have for our grand prize drawings for teens, it does help them come in. We go to do outreach at the schools, and [students] will come to the library and say, 'I remember you came to my school and told us about [reading programs], and I've got to do it,' and that's pretty awesome for us."

He said the library system will have more of a presence in the schools in about a month.

"We tend to take a break in August and let everybody get back in the swing of things, and then we'll start back in September doing some school visits and preschool visits, and we'll start that schedule back up because it's good to out there during the year as well," Shalin said.

Teens participating in the You are Here Teen Summer Reading Program who have completed the required reading have until Saturday to enter to win cash prizes. Participants in the Novel Destinations Adult Summer Reading Program have until Sunday, July 31, to submit a completion form for a chance to win a Nook e-reader.

The Bartow County Library System's main branch can be reached at 770-382-4203.