Delaware Libraries Launch 2017 Statewide Summer Reading Challenge

Date Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017
Categories:  Delaware Libraries Department of State Kent County New Castle County News Sussex County

slrp2017pressreleasegraphic-1Delaware’s First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney will kick off the statewide 2017 Summer Library Reading Challenge, Build a Better World, this weekend at public libraries in all three counties.   She will be joined by special guests The Cat’s Pajamas, a musical comedy trio.

The kick-off events are:

  • 7 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the Dover Public Library;
  • 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10 at the Milton Public Library; and
  • 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at the Newark Free Library.

“Making reading achievement a priority helps to build a foundation for future success,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “Research has shown that children who read over the summer perform better when they return to school in the fall and are able to retain and even improve upon reading skills learned during the past year.”

Delaware libraries are noted for hosting the longest running statewide public library summer reading program in the nation.  Now in its 38th year, the annual Summer Library Challenge provides early literacy programs to help children build and develop reading and language skills; teen programs that motivate teens to read and discuss literature; and programs that encourage adults to experience the joy of reading.

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Governor John Carney. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and prevents the summer slide.”

“For more than 38 years — for generations of Delawareans — Delaware libraries have been cultivating reading and learning passions,” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “Whatever your interest, whatever your talent, the library supports it.”

Young “pre-readers” (children who can’t read yet) can get credit for books that are read to them.  Throughout the summer, libraries provide a variety of fun and educational arts, cultural, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs to encourage reading and spark curiosity.

Registration for the Summer Challenge is free in-person at all public libraries or online at  Incentive prizes are awarded based on reading and activity milestones.  Delaware libraries encourage Delawareans of all ages to track their reading and learning during the summer and throughout life.  A variety of tips, tools, and techniques for tracking individual interests are available at

The following programs for children will be presented at all public libraries throughout the state; visit for the schedule of events and additional information:

  • Hooked on Books with master comic Mark Lohr, in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.
  • The Build It Better Shop with musical storyteller Rick Waterhouse, in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.
  • Think it! Build it! Test it! learn about the engineering process with the Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation.
  • The Delaware Nature Society will present a variety of nature-related programs.

Summer arts programs are supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on


The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries, offers free access to the online catalog (; Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks; programs/workshops; community partnerships; and more.

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