Library plans Virtual Summer Reading

The Best Times Digital Edition

April 27, 2021

By Patti Combs

Virtual Summer Reading at Johnson County Library will kickoff on June 5.

Throughout the summer, we’ll have book clubs for kids and tweens, writing, sticker and photography contests, trivia and weekly national presenters for all ages connected to the theme of “Tails and Tales.”

Sparkle, the unicorn, will return with more fun library antics throughout the summer. Like last year, there will be no in-person activities or in-branch book giveaways during the summer reading program. Books will be distributed via school giveaways and community partners. Additional distribution opportunities are being evaluated and will be announced on social media.

Printed reading logs will be available in branch and on-demand via the website at

Though older adults will not track pages like the little ones, that does not mean you are left out of this year’s summer reading fun. The virtual launch party on Saturday, June 5, features events that will entertain and educate all ages.

The day starts with conversation, storytelling and performance from New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and a fun trivia party hosted by Eco Elvis. In the afternoon, Master Gardeners from the Johnson County Extension Service are eager to help you design and then will talk you through the steps to creating a natural garden habitat for wildlife through a virtual workshop. They will then give you a peek into the hidden life of butterflies.

The final event of the day features National Geographic wildlife photographer, Frans Lanting, who shares tips for catching the perfect images of wild garden visitors.

Gardening is a great fit for this year’s Summer Reading theme of “Tails and Tales.” It starts with the tale of pollination which is important to virtually all of the world’s seed plants, ecosystems and creatures.

The tale continues with an explanation sharing how you, by planting a pollinator garden, can do your part to help the pollinators by adding to the shrinking inventory of flower- rich habitat in your area. The stars of the tale are the pollinators as they pollinate your flowers, providing a bountiful harvest of fruits, seeds and vegetables as well as the fun of watching them up close as they work away.

And since the tale of how everything is connected brings us back around to the beginning, children and grandchildren who register for the “Summer Reading Program at Johnson County Library will receive seeds to start their own mini pollinator gardens, as supplies allow. As the pace of summer activities begin to wind down, the grand finale of Summer Reading takes place Saturday, July 31, with a celebration of contest winners and popular programs.

We’ll showcase a special feature Storytime with Sparkle, the unicorn, and friends. All the details can be discovered at

Patti Combs is communications clerk at Central Resource Library.