Another season of summer reading is upon us. We are excited to offer another fun-filled summer to our community that includes space-themed crafts, activities, special performers and so much more!

Summer is a good time to sign up for a library card or make sure your library cards are all updated, especially if you have children that may be coming to the library on their own or with babysitters or grandparents. It’s also a good idea to add any authorized users that may be using your library card this summer.

All ages of readers (from Birth to 99) can register for our Summer Reading Programs on Beanstack. There is a link to Beanstack on our website (library.cityofyankton.org). Our youngest readers (Birth-5th Grade) will get a Reading Chain at registration and will earn special beads throughout the summer. We will also offer programs nearly every day of the week during June and July, including crafts, Legos, activities, movies and more! There will be door prizes given out at some of the programs throughout the summer — so come when you can to enjoy the activities and have the opportunity to win special prizes.

Our Teen and Adult readers will have challenges to complete during the summer. Some of the challenges are to attend library events, while others are reading challenges to encourage you to maybe pick up a book outside your comfort zone! For each of the challenges completed, participants will earn a chance in our prize drawings for gift cards, tote bags, and other fun goodies. Our Grand Prize for each of the Teen and Adult groups will be an Amazon Fire!

On Monday, June 3, the library will host our Summer Reading Kick-Off Party from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be free crafts and games available for the family. Rolling Waiters Food Truck will also be present with kid-friendly foods to purchase, so come hungry!

The seventh annual Cemetery Walk, in partnership with the Mead Cultural Education Center, will be held on Tuesday, June 4. We will again have new graves to visit to learn about prominent citizens in Yankton’s history. Ticket are available for sale at the library — $5 for adults, $3 for children. Our 6 p.m. tours are sold out, but there are still tickets available for the 7:30 p.m. tours. Don’t miss out on this unique event!

We are excited to host the One Book South Dakota author Kent Nerburn on Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. at the Yankton Community Library. Several copies of his book, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” are available at the library. In addition, we will be showing the movie on Monday, Aug. 26, and hosting a follow-up book discussion with Jamie Sullivan in October. We will be giving away signed copies of Nerburn’s book throughout the summer!

New this year, our Pup-up Library at the Dog Park will be on Tuesday, June 18, at 6 p.m. Bring your furry friends along to hear our guest speaker and have the opportunity to check out some canine-related books!

Everyone is welcome to come to see “The Rope Warrior” on Monday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. He will put on a good show as he demonstrates some amazing jump rope tricks. We have other special performers and presentations throughout the summer for the whole family including The Omaha Zoo presentation on June 24 at 11 a.m., Storyteller Will Stuck on July 8 at 6 p.m. and a “Red Beard, Blue Beard” musical performance on July 22 at 6 p.m.

Be sure to check our Facebook page and pick up a calendar at the library for a full listing of events. And don’t forget to practice your special talents (or just come and watch!) for our Talent Show at the end of July. It is sure to be a busy summer full of fun activities and excitement at the library. And most importantly-don’t forget that the library is full of a Universe of Stories that can take you anywhere from the comfort of your own home!

Dana Schmidt is director of the Yankton Community Library.

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