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'A universe of stories' at Delaware public libraries this summer

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
Delaware First Lady Tracy Quillen Carney sits with children and parents at the New Castle Library's launch of the Summer Library Reading Program Friday

Delaware’s 41st annual Summer Library Reading Program is kicking off throughout the state.  According to officials, Delaware libraries host the longest running statewide public library summer reading program in the country.


This year’s theme is “a universe of stories,” with space-themed events co-hosted by the Delaware Division of the Arts, the Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation and the Delaware Nature Society.

The program also encourages readers of all ages to track their reading over the summer, with incentive prizes awarded based on reading and activity milestones. Young “pre-readers” get credit for books read to them.

The goal of the program is to promote early literacy and school readiness —  and to prevent what State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman calls the “summer slide.”

“That means that we don’t want children to kind of lapse on what they’ve learned during the school year,” she said. “So [this] keeps up their reading skills.”

Norman says summertime is an opportunity for getting kids to love reading.

“It’s a time when children can participate in informal learning,” she said. “So they’re choosing books they want to read. Even though the theme is space and science, they can absolutely read whatever they are interested in. So it’s a great time for them to explore their curiosity.”

Delaware First Lady Tracy Quillen Carney said in a statement the “library habit” is about not just literacy, but also “parent-child engagement and access to other services.”

The Summer Library Reading Program is free, with registration at all public libraries and online.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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