Library Sees Large Increase in Successful Summer Reading Program

Monday, August 6, 2018
Courtney Lewis
Library Sees Large Increase in Successful Summer Reading Program

Kansas City, MO - The Kansas City Public Library has concluded its highly successful Summer Reading Program 2018, posting a 41% increase in registered participants.

From May 25 to July 31, 2018, more than 5,000 patrons took part in Rock & Read, the Library’s summer reading program for both youth and adults. Participants were encouraged to read five books during that period and log their progress. They received a free book when they registered and an additional prize once they logged their five books.

The 5,158 participants were up from 3,669 in 2017. Nearly every KCPL branch saw increases, including:

•    North-East Branch: 180% increase
•    Waldo Branch: 177% increase 
•    Southeast Branch: 142% increase
•    Lucile H. Bluford Branch: 100% increase

“This summer we listened to our Library patrons and offered them a self-driven reading experience that was the same for all ages from babies through seniors,” says Crystal Faris, director of youth and family engagement. “Everyone who signed up selected a free book to keep. Combine that with a fun music theme and exciting programs at each branch, as well as caring library staff, and participation numbers grew significantly.”

This is the second year that KCPL has merged the youth and summer reading programs. The goal was to pave the way for people of all ages in our city to experience the joy of reading and growing.

“Summer reading may be the most important thing the Library does,” says Library Director Crosby Kemper III. “It shows our children that reading and learning can be fun. It also encourages families, adults, and children of almost all reading ages to read together.”

Other key numbers:
•    Number of books logged: 13,594
•    77% increase in teen participants (ages 13-18) 
•    17% increase in adult participants