Few places in Davis are as popular as the public library during warm summer days, and this summer is likely to be no exception.
The calendar at the Stephens Branch Library is chock full of reading programs — complete with prizes for children and teens — as well as presentations, story times, activities and movie nights.
New this year: The Active4.me scan-and-notify system will be available.
That means parents can send their children off to the library and receive a text message, email or phone call notifying them that their children have arrived. Kids will only have to scan their library cards to trigger the notification.
The Active4.me system has been in use at several Davis elementary schools for years now, providing parents some peace of mind when they send their kids off to school while also allowing children to keep track of the miles they log using alternative transportation like biking or walking.
That will continue to be the case at the library this summer, but now adults can get in on the action as well.
Everyone in the community will be able to track their miles traveled by bike, on foot or any other mode of alternative transportation to the library, as well as their carbon offsets.
“We have had a lot of fun encouraging kids to use safe and active forms of transportation at schools,” noted Rachel Hartsough, the city of Davis’ Street Smarts coordinator. “(And) this new initiative with the library gives us one more opportunity to promote a safer, more healthy way to get around Davis.”
The system is being paid for through a Safe Routes to School grant that the city of Davis received in 2011.
To get started, patrons can scan their library cards at the kiosk next to the library’s self-checkout machines. An account number will be generated and 0.5 miles will be automatically credited each day that the card-holder scans in.
To customize the account and add notification, visit http://davislibrary.active4.me and click on “register” to create a user name, select a transportation mode, enter actual miles between home and the library and set a notification preference. No names or ages are required.
To encourage participation, prizes will be awarded for miles logged using alternative transportation.
“The Yolo County Library welcomes everyone to visit us and we are particularly proud of those who use active transportation to do so,” said Jay Johnstone, manager of the Stephens Branch Library at 315 E. 14th St.
Once children and teens arrive at the library and scan, there is no end to the fun.
This year’s summer reading program is “Our Reading is So Delicious,” and runs through mid-August.
Children can sign up at the service desk and pick up a game board that includes healthy and fun activities designed for particular age groups. Each child who completes the program will receive a free book and a coupon from either Round Table Pizza or Original Steve’s Pizza. Teens who participate can register to win an Android and teens and adults who register can win a Kindle.
Summer reading programs, particularly for children, are intended to keep up reading skills outside the classroom.
“A summer reading program is a critically important tool to keep children learning and reading over the summer months,” said Yolo County Librarian Patty Wong.
Wong said research shows students who read recreationally out-perform those who do not. Studies also have shown that school-aged children lose up to one month of learning over the summer break.
“Our programs provide quality summer learning opportunities,” Wong said.
Full schedules of summer activities are available at the library as well as on the library website, http://www.yolocountylibrary.org.
Some of the fun this year includes a “Fancy Nancy Meets the Mad Hatter tea party,” “Uncle Jer’s Traveling Bee Show” and a visit from the Mad Scientist.
Teens, meanwhile, will enjoy movie nights and an architectural competition involving dry spaghetti and marshmallows.
Not to be left out, adults can try their hands at Nutritional Jeopardy and a visit from the Davis Food Co-op called “Fast French Cooking with Julie and Julie and Julie and Julia.”
Events vary from branch to branch, and in Davis, will take place at both the Stephens Branch, 315 W. 14th St., as well as the South Davis branch, at Montgomery Elementary School, 1441 Danbury St.
Montgomery Branch hours are Tuesdays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Upcoming Saturday fun at Montgomery includes a visit from Explorit Science Center on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to noon, where children can learn about common local spiders and where they might be hidden in homes and elsewhere, as well as enjoy spider crafts and games.
On Saturday, July 6, the theme at Montgomery is “Tasty Stories and Crafts,” and features dramatic readings of the Magic Porridge Pot, The Three Bears and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Stephens Branch activities include a “Reading is So Delicious Origami Afternoon” this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Blanchard Room. The Davis Origami Group will be on hand for a lesson in the traditional Japanese art of folding paper, followed by refreshments. All ages are welcome.
The library also will continue with weekly story times for children, with the summer schedule running through Aug. 31.
Story time programs at the Stephens Branch, 315 W 14th St., are:
* Sundays: Chinese/English stories for ages 0-5; 3 p.m. (no programs on June 16 or Aug. 11);
* Tuesdays: Tot Play Time for ages 0-2; 10 a.m. to noon — a chance for parents to get to know other parents while their children play;
* Thursdays: Preschool summer for ages 3-5; 10:15 a.m.;
* Fridays: Spanish/English stories for ages 0-5; 10:30 a.m.; and
* Saturdays: Family stories for all ages; 11:15 a.m.
A sign-language interpreter is available upon request, but one week’s notice is requested. Call 530-757-5593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The toy lending library will be open on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m.; Thursdays from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; and Saturdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at email@example.com or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy