Library offers more than books to engage and entertain this summer

Cabrein Bell and Anthony Richardson compete in the 2010 Cardboard Boat Race. This year’s upcoming race, themed “Cruise the World with Books,” will be held at John Sevier Swimming Pool on Friday, July 15, at 7 p.m.  For information on how to enter the race, visit the Blount County Library’s Reference Desk or see www.blountlibrary.org.

Cabrein Bell and Anthony Richardson compete in the 2010 Cardboard Boat Race. This year’s upcoming race, themed “Cruise the World with Books,” will be held at John Sevier Swimming Pool on Friday, July 15, at 7 p.m. For information on how to enter the race, visit the Blount County Library’s Reference Desk or see www.blountlibrary.org.

Whether it’s hot or cold, rainy or dry, the Blount County Public Library offers a welcoming climate for participation in a myriad of fun and interesting things to do for the whole family.

While of course the library has many books and reading materials, there are many other things to do at the library. Believe it or not, the library sponsors numerous activities throughout the summer that involve action, not just lounging around.

The Edible Book Contest provides an opportunity for those who love to work with food to win cash prizes by creating a sculpture from edible products that depicts a title, theme or character from a title contained in the library’s collection. Entry forms are available at the library’s Reference Desk and are due by Tuesday, June 21. The entries will be exhibited for the public from June 23-26.

“Cruise the World with Books” is the theme of this year’s Cardboard Boat Race. Competitors build a boat using only four materials: cardboard, duct tape, glue and latex paint. The boats depict a literary theme from a fictional or nonfictional work in the library’s permanent collection.

Of course, the library provides plenty of materials on the shelf for leisure reading, fact-finding or for researching whatever topic is of interest. Many digital resources and books are downloadable to devices such as Ipods, Nooks, and computers through the library’s R.E.A.D.S. program; available online at www.blountlibrary.org. Also, there are many audiobook titles available on CD or audiotape for all ages. Library members can even check out videotapes, DVDs and music CDs.

Increasingly, libraries are subscribing to online resources for information of all kinds. No exception, the Blount County Public Library subscribes to numerous databases, some of which are “Tennessee Electronic Library” and “Gale.” The databases includes over 400,000 magazines, newspapers, podcasts, practice tests for ACT, SAT, professional licenses and genealogy databases. The programs “Books and Authors” and “BookPage” make suggestions for what to read next and offer book reviews. “Global Road Warrior” presents information on countries and “Mango Languages,” provides tutorials on 30 languages and 12 English as Second Languages programs. The “A to Z Maps Online” includes 4,000 maps. High School graduates can utilize “COIN Career Guidance,” which is a self-assessment test for helping plan a career after high school.

On-going, interactive summer activities are available for the whole family. For children up through fifth grade, special programs are scheduled every Saturday morning. Children and teens can also register to read and receive prizes by registering for the Summer Reading Program.Teen activities include chess on Saturdays and Thursdays.

Throughout the summer, events suitable for the whole family are available almost every week including the “Hot Summer Nights Concert Series” on Thursday evenings in August; and the Shakespeare play, “Comedy of Errors,” presented by the Tennessee Stage Company on Monday, July 25 at 6:30, outdoors on the front lawn of the library.

For further information about other library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit www.blountlibrary.org.

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