Explore what interests you this summer through stories, workshops, and events from the Rock Island Public Library’s free “Find Your Voice” summer programming for all ages from June 1 to July 31. The fun kicks off May 31 at the Botanical Center.
Find Your Voice, Find Your Story, with Rock Island Library Summer Programming!
Summer fun starts with the Find Your Voice Summer Kickoff on Wednesday, May 31, from 4 pm to 6:30 pm at the Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island. The free event for all ages, hosted with the Botanical Center, offers summer reading registration for all ages, a registration prize, and up to 12 activity stations from area organizations. Free “brag tags” for kids will be available, while supplies last, at selected activity stations. Kona Ice will be available for sale, and Rock Island and Milan-area residents can also renew or apply for a library card onboard the Library2Go bookmobile. Find Your Story yard signs will be available to show support for summer reading. The Botanical Center children’s garden will be available with extended hours, with free admission during the event. The event is free and open to all.
The library’s all-ages Find Your Voice reading challenge encourages participants to “find their story” and keep reading skills sharp over the summer. From June 1 to July 31, participants will earn digital badges for tracking their reading minutes and completing activities. Summer readers that earn at least 10 reading/activity badges of any combination qualify for a prize. Children earn a special brag tag; teens can choose from a book, Funko Pop figure, or Whitey’s gift card; and adults may earn a double-walled insulated tumbler. Each digital badge equals one digital ticket to apply toward prize drawings. Participants can earn up to 24 “tickets” by continuing to read by minutes and complete activities. The library has set an ambitious community goal of reading 400,000 minutes from June 1 to July 31. (Last year’s record was 350,230 minutes of community reading.)
To register and track reading and activities, register or sign into the library’s Beanstack app or website. A downloadable paper form is also available. Visit the RIPL summer reading page for more details. Participants may also register in person at any Rock Island Public Library location between June 1 and July 31.
With 1,000s of books and media formats, digital services, free programs, cultural passes, and Library of Things items to check out, this summer’s theme recognizes that the public library is the natural place to explore creativity, self-expression, new hobbies, and interests for all ages.
“Your voice is more than how you speak or write. It’s the total of all the things that interest you, how you express yourself, and what moves you to action,” said Lisa Lockheart, Rock Island Public Library Publicity & Outreach Liaison. The library is offering more than 100 separate events at its three locations so that children, teens, adults, and all ages can explore new interests, creativity, and fun this summer.
- All ages events at the library’s Watts-Midtown Branch include storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis, performing as John James Audubon, a family tie-dye program, Anime & Trivia Night events, and a presentation by Illinois Storm Chasers.
- Events for children and families include drop-in kids’ crafts at the Southwest Branch, storytimes at all three locations, a new monthly evening family storytime at the Watts-Midtown Branch, the WQPT Summer of Possibilities Tour at Southwest and Watts-Midtown Branches, an Interactive Family Movie at the Downtown Library, two Absolute Science events (Downtown & Southwest,) children’s entertainer Mary Macaroni and the Blank Park Zoo presentation, both at the Watts-Midtown Branch auditorium.
- Events for pre-teens and teens include a teen movie night on May 30 at the Watts-Midtown Branch, art with the Figge at the Downtown Library, a paint along program for teens, and a free dissection workshop, both at the Downtown Library.
- Adults can pursue life-long learning with summer genealogy workshops at the Downtown Library, a local author presentation on “Memories of the Great Depression,” also Downtown, talks on “History Beneath Our Feet,” Birding 101 with the QC Audubon Society, and Introduction to Native Plants with QC Wild Ones, all at Watts-Midtown; a summer non-fiction book club at Longview Park, 150th Book Club discussion on Road to Perdition at Watts-Midtown, a polymer clay workshop at the Downtown Library, and a talk on the National Park Service in our region with Dr. Norm Moline, at the Watts-Midtown Branch. Two walking tours for adults will meet at the Downtown Library. See calendar for registration details. Ongoing events offered for adults also include book clubs, Rock Island Arsenal history talks, monthly book sales, and Illinois Libraries Present author talks.
New Library2Go bookmobile routes start after Memorial Day, with routes at Goodwill and Martin Luther King Community Center on Mondays, Longview Park on Tuesdays, and Wholly Grinds coffee shop and Big Island’s Centennial Shelter Park on Thursdays. For times and addresses of each stop, please see the Library2Go page.
For more details on any of these events, visit the library events calendar.
For more news about events and services at the Rock Island Public Library, visit the library website, follow library social media, or call 309-732-READ.
Find Your Voice this summer with reading and events for all ages, June 1 through July 31 at the Rock Island Public Library Downtown Library, Southwest Branch, and Watts-Midtown Branch locations.