Library Summer Reading Programs

Kids sit outside on the grass looking at a book together.
© FatCamera from Getty Images Signature via

When we packed for summer vacation as a kid, most of my bag was stuffed with library books. Running out of pages was worse than a rainy day at the beach! With all those school-free days ahead of us, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Rochester including Summer Reading Programs across the county. These programs offer opportunities for families to share in the gift of reading.

Years of research tells us that early exposure to books can help children develop language, cognitive, and literacy skills, and prepare them for academic success. Additionally, reading is the greatest builder of social and emotional skills like identifying emotions, curiosity, perspective taking, goal setting, decision making, persistence, and identifying and solving problems.

Reading alongside our children bonds us through the act of sitting without interruption, making observations about the pages (and thus, the world around us), and transporting us through space and time. There are literally no downsides to reading. Two additional items, though, move the needle even more: kids choosing their own books and having access to them. Libraries provide both.

Our Great Library System

Libraries house thousands of print and electronic material available for free. They are the most sacred spaces in a community, from my perspective, bridging divides like no other physical space. Everyone is welcome in the library and is the heart of our communities. We’re so fortunate to live within a massive library system; libraries are located throughout Monroe County, many of which are near public transportation. They’re even air-conditioned!

Now as a mom, when I pack for trips, the very first thing I check is that my Kindle is in my bag. I take great delight in “stocking it” from Libby. (Did you know you can check out E-Books from Monroe County libraries onto your phone or family iPad?) I bring several of my toddler’s favorite books on a trip for familiarity and always bring one or two she hasn’t seen before, something that might not only capture her attention with its novelty but also introduce her to something new that might become a new favorite.

Despite the fact that she is on the move nearly all of her waking minutes, the power of a good story is getting her to sit still to flip through the pages cuddled up next to me. My own love of reading came from my parents reading to me or reading their own books in my presence; I want to model this for our children even when reading feels luxurious when the to-do list is long.

To get you started, here is Scholastic’s 50 Must Read Picture Books for Summer. (Picture books can be for everyone!) Before visiting a library, make a list of books you want to check out or let your family members wander to see what catches their eyes.

“Read–aloud is a prescription for lifelong success for the child and a dose of deep well-being for the family.“

– Pam Allyn, Senior Vice President, Innovation & Development, Scholastic Education

Library Summer Reading Programs

In the summer, their power to transform and transport takes on superhero status through their Summer Reading Programs which incentivizes reading and offers even more programming than the rest of the year. This year’s theme at many of our Monroe County Libraries include “adventure” which is apt for a summer reading program! Each book offers us a chance at adventure.

Summer Reading Program Begins at Greece Public Library

June 22
Greece Public Library
2 Vince Tofany Blvd
Rochester, New York 14612
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All ages can participate in our annual Summer Reading Program! Drop by the library to pick up your a...

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Summer Punch Cards Start At Henrietta Public Library

June 24
Henrietta Public Library
625 Calkins Road
Rochester, New York 14623
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When the school year ends for the summer, Henrietta Public Library hands out summer punch cards to p...

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Summer Reading Kickoff Party at Lincoln Branch

June 24 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Lincoln Branch Library
851 Joseph Ave.
Rochester, NY
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Now that’s school is out, it’s time to start Summer Reading! Kids and their families can...

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Summer Reading Program Kickoff at Penfield Public Library

June 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Penfield Public Library
1985 Baird Road
Penfield, New York 14526
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*Registration opens June 10* Monday, June 24, 1:00-2:00 PM For Reading Game participants entering gr...

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Summer Reading Kickoff Party at Pittsford Community Library

June 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Pittsford Community Library
24 State Street
Pittsford, New York 14534
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Start Summer Reading with cookie cake! First-come, first-served.

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Summer Reading Opening Party & Magic Show with Cris at Mendon Public Library

June 25 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Mendon Public Library
22 North Main Street
Honeoye Falls, New York 14472
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The show, titled “The Great Reading Adventure” is being used as part of the library’s efforts ...

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Summer Reading Kickoff with Braddock Bay Raptor Research at Parma Public Library

June 27 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Parma Public Library
7 West Ave
Hilton, New York 14468
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Celebrate the start of summer reading with the birds from Braddock Bay Raptor Research from 1-2pm. A...

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Summer Reading Kickoff and African Drumming with Mayukwa Kashiwa at Newman Riga Library

June 27 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Newman Riga Library
1 South Main Street
Churchville, New York 14428
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Adventure Begins… at Newman Riga Library! Join us for our Summer Reading Game kick-off with an...

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Summer Reading Kickoff Program Party at Seymour Library

June 27 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Brockport-Seymour Library
161 East Ave
Brockport, New York 14420
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FREE fun for the whole family! We will have the Lugia’s on Wheels truck, a foam party, animals...

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Summer Reading and Learning Kick-Off at Brighton Memorial Library

June 28 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Brighton Memorial Library
2300 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, New York 14618
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Sign up for our annual summer learning program at our in-person kickoff event from 10-11:30 AM at th...

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Adventure Begins with a Reptile Visit at Ogden Farmers’ Library

July 1 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Ogden Farmers’ Library
269 Ogden Center Rd.
Spencerport, New York 14559
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We’re beginning our Summer Reading adventures with a reptile visit! Presenters from Prehistori...

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Truck Show: Summer Reading Kickoff! at Chili Public Library

July 8 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Chili Public Library
3237 Chili Ave
Rochester, New York 14624
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For all ages and families. Our annual Truck Show is back again! Come to the library to get up close ...

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