Summer With the Athens County Public Library

Posted on:

< < Back to

Memories of taking part in the summer programming at your public library are of a potent variety. That icy cold air conditioning washing over you as you sit fully enveloped in a story unfolding on the pages of a book – the only sound being the comforting hush of the library, occasionally punctuated by someone’s coughing or the folding of a newspaper – that’s good stuff. Athens County Public Library System Youth Services Coordinator Taryn Lentes agrees.

“I have those same amazing memories of a kid as just spending almost the whole summer in a library, participating in summer reading programs and storytimes and other programs. I think that the library in general is really a community center and a place that people can come together, whether it’s within our building or on our website or the things we offer outside through outreach,” said Lentes.

The theme for this year’s Athens County Public Libraries youth summer programming is animal-centric: “Tails and Tales.” The theme kicked off June 1 and will run through July 31. Lentes said that while the ACPL’s programming is remaining online due to COVID-19 as it was last summer, this summer ACPL is providing a wide range of “Take and Make” projects for both kids and adults.


“People can pick those up at the library and have everything they need to go home and do a science experiment or a craft. It’s really nice to get that kind of more physical interactive element incorporated this summer,” said Lentes.

Some of the Take and Make projects ACPL is featuring this summer are Pride Month bottle cap pendants (Athens location), a Blue Sky Weaving introductory kit for adults (Nelsonville location), a DIY book binding kit (Athens location), and more. On a similar note, storytime-to-go bags will also be available for parents to pick up at library locations.

Rural Action is supplying the ACPL system with a special program to go entitled “Father’s Day in the Woods with Rural Action,” which will tie in the “Tales and Tails” theme with information about animal parenting.

These are only a fraction of the programming the ACPL system will provide the communities it serves this summer. For a full list, check out

If you have memories of summer public library programming, you most likely remember the classic summer reading program that incentivizes patrons to track the books they read by awarding them points for reading and an entry into prize drawings. Summer 2021 marks the second year the ACPL system is doing this, and it’s entirely online. In addition to receiving points for reading, Lentes said there are also various activity related challenges people can take part in to earn points.

Lentes emphasized the diverse community role that a public library fills, a role that the ACPL system is taking part in not only by providing programming, but also by providing free grab and go lunches for children up to ages 18, as well. Check out for information on which locations are taking part and when.

“Anything that is important or interesting to the community, it all kind of comes together at the library,” said Lentes. “And I just think we have a really great opportunity in the summer, whether it’s in person, when we’re able to do that again, or with the virtual and take and make stuff to offer something for families to do during the summer, that’s free, that’s affordable, and safe.”