Every summer, librarians across Canada welcome thousands of kids to come explore their local library, browse the bookshelves and get hooked on reading.
Designed to be a welcoming destination for every type of reader, libraries have committed to ensuring their spaces are inclusive for everyone. This includes their summer programming to help get kids excited about reading, by incorporating incentives and fun activities.
Many libraries take steps to ensure kids of all ages, interests and abilities can participate, such as promoting audio books, eBooks and braille books alongside print books, as well as offering program materials in large print, braille, audio and e-text formats so that kids with print disabilities may participate equally.
“Every kid deserves to experience the fun of a reading club, so accessibility should always be a priority for organizers,” says Jessica Roy, Manager of the TD Summer Reading Club at the Toronto Public Library.
“A truly accessible program goes beyond offering a broad range of reading options, but includes resources that help make signage, activities and games accessible to all.”
Finding an inclusive reading club in your community
Not sure if your local summer reading club has options for your child? A little communication can go a long way. Letting reading club organizers know about your child’s needs can help them adjust and expand their offerings to ensure your child can participate.
The TD Summer Reading Club is one program that offers libraries plenty of accessibility resources. It’s a free bilingual program available at over 2,000 public libraries across Canada, with reading options and activities for children with varying skills and abilities. The program celebrates Canadian authors and illustrators and their stories and is designed to inspire kids to explore the fun of reading in their own way.
Everybody wins when everybody reads
Roy adds summer reading programs help kids develop healthy ready habits that will benefit them for a lifetime and maintain what they’ve learned throughout the school year.
Check out your local library’s summer reading programs and don’t be afraid to speak up if they need to expand their service offerings. When kids of all abilities can get excited about reading all year long, everybody wins.