by Lorie Lewis Ham
Every summer, Fresno County Public Libraries have a summer reading program providing special events and programs for local youth and this summer is no exception. “Our summer reading program will be titled ‘Make Waves at Your Library,’” said Ernst Vitovec, head librarian at Reedley Library. “The reading portion will be the same as last year where kids fill out a reading log and will be able to choose prizes two times through out the program. The program begins June 14th and goes through July 18th.”
This year they will have five entertainers but, unfortunately, they are having to limit attendance to only 80 people, meaning that others will be turned away at the door so arriving early for each program is important. In past years, they have had as many as 300 people in attendance.
Children’s entertainers are Thursdays at 1:00pm:
- June 17 — E&M’s Reptile Family — Reptiles and insects
- June 24 — Tony Blanco — Magic and comedy
- July 1 — Oklin Bloodworth — Song and dance
- July 8 — Ted Esquivel — Storyteller
- July 15 — Matthew McGee — Puppets
“We will also have three teen programs,” continued Ernst. “I believe this will be limited strictly to 14 to 18 year olds this year and to a maximum of 15 participants.”
The Teen Programs are Wednesdays at 1:00pm:
- June 16 — Art with Julia Scott
- June 30 — Shell Jewelry
- July 14 — Juggle with Isaac
Fresno County Libraries are also known for their “Big Reads” twice a year, which generally include a book club that reads through and discusses the chosen book. The latest book was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. “Fascination with fire, one of man’s most significant technologies, is as ancient as the drive for survival. Fire, symbol of destruction, power, home, hearth, warmth, comfort, and safety, still holds a certain magic in Ray Bradbury’s alarmingly present future,” said book club attendee Janet Adams, sharing her thoughts on the book. “However, man’s survival needs have expanded beyond food, shelter, and clothing. Basic needs are no longer in question. Rather, the reader confronts a nihilistic world in which hollow people pursue even hollower dreams. A world in which family is a distant memory, a world in which books are the stuff of abandoned legends, a world in which truth is sought via the flat screen panels covering every wall, and socializing is done in the television parlors among ‘family.’”
There will be a special summer book club at the Reedley Library this year, led by some local readers. “We will be reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison,” said Larry Ham.
“Ellison creates a vivid and shocking picture of America and society’s subversion of individual identity in search of something larger. He said soon after the book was published that Invisible Man was not just about the black experience in America, it was an account of every person’s ‘invisibility’ in a world that tells us how to think of each other,” stated one review of the book on Amazon.
Those interested in participating in this book club can sign up at the Reedley Library and either check the book out there or purchase one; inexpensive, used copies are available on Amazon. The club will meet from 7:00-8:00pm June 15 and 29, July 13 and 27, and August 10 at the library.
For information on Summer Reading Program event schedules at other local libraries, you can contact them directly or peruse Fresno County Library Events online.
Local library contact numbers:
- Parlier: 646-3835
- Orange Cove: 626-7942
- Sanger: 875-2435
- Kingsburg: 897-3710
- Fowler: 834-3114