Frequently Asked

Why should I read 15-20 minutes a day?

Setting a reading goal—even one as simple as reading 15 minutes a day—is an effective way of improving reading skills. Reading is a learned skill—one must practice regularly to get better.

What is summer slide?

A typical summer break from school lasts for many weeks, which means a student could spend a significant time away from his or her studies. This break from academic learning can cause "summer slide" for many students. Research shows that if a child isn't provided with learning opportunities during the summer break, he or she will lose some of the learning progress made during the previous school year. As a result, that student could potentially "slide" behind his or her peers; this loss is cumulative.
Participating in a variety of learning activities and spending time reading over the summer can successfully combat that loss. In fact, a student provided with such opportunities—such as those offered as part of Summer Library Club—can even progress over the summer.

Why should my baby participate?

Many parents are surprised when we encourage them to sign their babies and young children up for our reading programs. After all, a baby isn’t yet old enough to comprehend his or her involvement, so what would baby get out of it? The answer is, A LOT. Talking, playing, singing, and reading aloud to baby is the best way to build your child’s language and vocabulary skills. Participating in Summer Library Club, and bringing baby to storytimes, provides opportunities to practice these pre-reading activities.
In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recognized the importance of reading to baby by releasing a policy statement declaring that pediatricians would begin incorporating early literacy support into their primary care routine. For more research and tips on how to incorporate literacy activities into your day, check out http://talkingisteaching.org/.

Why is Summer Library Club for all ages? Why not just kids?

Do you want your child to learn to love reading? Be a reading role model! You are your child's first teacher—if your child sees you reading and enjoying your reading experience then s/he is more likely to learn to love reading as well. And not just you, but all family members can participate in Summer Library Club and be a reading role model.
Don't have kids? Summer Library Club is still for you! Visitors of all ages can enjoy participating this summer.

How do I participate?

Participation is easy!
– First, simply sign up either online or in person at any UA library.
– Next, keep track of the time you spend reading as well as the activities you complete. Activity choices can be found on our Summer Library Club website. Download a reading log here.
– Then, log your reading hours, either online via www.summerlibraryclub.org or in person at any UA Library.
– Once you've completed 10 hours of reading and 10 activities, visit any UA Library to receive a stack of coupons.
– After you've completed a total of 20 hours of reading and 20 activities, come back to the library to grab a new book from our Summer Library Club selection; you will also automatically be entered into the grand prize drawing for your age group.

What if I lose my username and/or password?

If we have helped you with your registration, then your username will be your first and last name, all one word (ex. johndoe); your password will be your 7-digit phone number followed by the first letter of your first name (ex. 555-1234j). If you created your own account but don't remember the username or password that you created, come on in to any UA library's Summer Library Club table and we will help you out.

What kind of reading counts?

All reading activities count! Spent 5 minutes reading the cereal box? Check! Listened to a book on CD? Check! Listened to someone read aloud a story to you? Check! Read a graphic novel? Check! Took a walk with your preschooler and read aloud the signs you saw together? Check and check! Any reading or literacy activity counts.

Why did you add activities to the program?

The activities are carefully chosen for their value in providing children and adults opportunities to strengthen their knowledge of technology and culture. For example, many of the activities use a technological platform that introduces users to new databases, valuable websites, and a variety of virtual library services. In addition, many activities encourage exploration around UA, thus strengthening the participant’s place in the community. By adding activities to the program, we confirm the link between literacy and experiential learning, independence and literacy development.

I don’t remember logging my activities last year—I thought I only needed to log my reading hours?

In order for us to create a valuable Summer Library Club each year it is helpful for us to learn which activities were favorites or duds so that we can make improvements. You are free to choose whichever activities you want from the list, and can repeat activities as well.

How come you don't have toy prizes anymore?

There are two reasons why we are no longer offering toy prizes:
Funds needed to supply prizes, printing, and programs for the Summer Library Club are provided by the Friends of the Library. By no longer offering toys as prizes we are saving thousands of dollars, which can then be put to use toward other library programming for you.
The second reason is motivation. What motivates a child to read? According to research—and our own observation—children who enjoy reading, read; those children will read due to intrinsic motivation—because they like reading for reading's sake. "Readers" don't need to be motivated to continue their reading practices. Children who do not yet enjoy reading are unlikely to learn to enjoy reading simply by providing them with external negative or positive motivation. In other words, while offering a child a toy prize for completing a reading program is fun, it will not be the reason that a child learns to enjoy reading. Instead, a child will learn to enjoy reading by mirroring others who enjoy reading, and by practicing their reading in a positive way. Therefore, we have chosen to discontinue our practice of offering toy prizes, and instead will provide prizes that tie in to our focus of encouraging participants to Explore, Gather, and Grow.

Are you still going to have grand prizes?

Definitely! One lucky winner from each age category will receive a carefully selected prize. The prizes this year were chosen because they each provided an opportunity for the winner to experience and explore something new.

I love to read, and last year I finished the program quickly. Can I earn another coupon or book prize if I read past 20 hours?

While 20 hours is the goal required to complete your Summer Library Club participation, your reading doesn't need to end there. Staff are on hand at all UA Library locations to help you pick out your next favorite book! While we don't provide further prize incentives, we strongly encourage each reader to create their own reading goals this summer, beyond 20 hours! You are welcome and encouraged to continue logging your hours with us beyond the initial 20 hours read.

Will you still have the Read-o-meters?

I know we are all used to seeing the Read-o-meters each year, but with the new style of reading program we have decided to put these on hold until when we’ve had some time to evaluate and determine how to use them for our SLC in future years.

Once Summer Library Club is over, where can I find the online resources you highlighted, such as Novelist and Zinio?

Each database is available through our website at www.ualibrary.org, found under the Research tab. Our staff will be happy to show you how to find those as well.