Merge Cube

Jennifer Johnson, audiovisual librarian, recently uses virtual reality goggles to observe the sun and planets on a Merge Cube, an activity planned for the summer reading program at the Carteret County Public Library. (Contributed photo)

Don’t just toss your books in a locker and hit the beach now that school is out. Expand your horizons all season long with the Carteret County public libraries’ summer reading program 2019.

The annual summer reading program offers a variety of special events, activities and programs to encourage summertime reading at all age levels.

Participants may vie for keen prizes by keeping weekly reading logs and turning them in at the library.

Books, magazines, graphic novels, eBooks and audio books all qualify for reading time. Registration begins Monday.

The Collaborative Summer Library Program is a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide public libraries with high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens and adults at the lowest cost possible.

The program began in 1987 when 10 Minnesota regional library systems developed a summer library program for children.

Last year’s CSLP theme was “Libraries Rock!” and festivities were highlighted by a rousing concert by the Marine Corps 2nd Air Wing Band at the library in Beaufort.

This year, the theme is “A Universe of Stories,” and the sky’s the limit for your reading adventures.

“We always look forward to the Summer Reading Program. Kids enjoy filling out the logs and the chance to win prizes,” Carteret County Public Library Director Susan Simpson said. “School may be out, but that’s no reason to take a vacation from learning. And there are activities for adults, too, so the summer reading program truly offers something that entire families can enjoy.”

Following are highlights of various summer reading program activities for the county’s public libraries.


Bogue Banks Public Library

Thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Bogue Banks Public Library, the library is offering “space adventures” during storytime programs Thursdays at 10 a.m. beginning June 20 and continuing through Aug. 29 at the branch in Pine Knoll Shores. Storytime topics include the sun, the moon, the stars and more.

The Bogue Banks Public Library is located at 320 Salter Path Road, Suite W., Pine Knoll Shores. For more information, call 252-247-4660.

Carteret County

Public Library

The library in Beaufort launched its summer reading program with an extravaganza in the library parking lot. The public used personal drones for an aerial display of stunts and maneuvers.

Hi-resolution photos taken by the drones could be viewed on mobile phones in real time.

Pine Knoll Shores Mayor Ken Jones and Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton were on hand to participate in the “dronefest,” capped off by a communal viewing of the rising full June “strawberry” moon.

Children will “blast off” with storytime programs about planets, stars, rockets, aliens and astronauts. Activities and crafts will include training to be an astronaut, interpreting stories through movement, creating edible phases of the moon and building and testing rockets.

Storytime for Toddlers, ages 2-4, is at 10 a.m. every Friday and for Pre-K, ages 3-5, is at 10 a.m. each Wednesday.

Elementary readers ages 6 to 12 will explore “all things space” this summer at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. Activities begin June 20 with “Shoot for the Moon,” featuring a recap of the Apollo moon landings by Shoshana Weider, and concludes will the “Big Beyond Celebration!” Aug. 1.

In between, experience “Living on the Moon” (June 27), “Astronaut Fun” (July 11), “Trekking Across the Universe” (July 18) and “My Journey to the Stars” (July 25). Activities will include costume creation, group games, space-related arts and crafts projects, science and engineering experiments and more.

Young adults ages 12 to 18 will find a variety of programs and activities tailored just for them, including a “Paint the Night” workshop presented by Carolyn Temple of Crystal Coast Photography at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 20, a “Solar Power, Tesla Coil and Robotics Workshop” at 6 p.m. Monday, June 24 and “Virtual Reality and Merge Cubes” interaction at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25.

Bring your own gizmo and extend virtual learning beyond the limitations of the small screen as you interact and play with your individual subject(s) of study.

Teens may also compete for cash prizes by entering the video challenge. Participants will create their own 60-second video promoting libraries and reading, with special focus on personal interpretation of the “A Universe of Stories” theme.

This special competition is presented in partnership with the Friends of the Carteret County Public Library.  

Adults can get on board the summer reading program express by taking a subliminal trip “From the Moon to Mars” Tuesday, July 16 at 8 p.m.

The conductor for this expedition is NASA solar system ambassador Lisa Pelletier-Harman, who will recount the history of America’s “Race to the Moon” and speculate on where NASA may be heading next.

Since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Ms. Pelletier-Harman’s one-hour program promises to be especially timely. The program is hosted by the Crystal Coast Stargazers Astronomy Club.

The main branch wraps up with a Science Cafe Closing Party Saturday, Aug. 3 at 3 p.m. at the library.

Program participants may take part in casual discussions, listen to scientists, community members and other special guests as they review what they’ve learned about space during the program. Summer reading program awards will be presented, video contest winners announced and other fun surprises and treats are on tap, too.

For more information on all summer reading program events, visit the library’s website,, find them on Facebook, call 252-728-2050 or stop by the library at 1702 Live Oak St., Beaufort.


Down East Public Library

Storytime at the Down East Public Library will continue for ages 2-5 Mondays at 10 a.m. during the summer. Advance registration is requested by calling the library at 252-728-1333.

Special events have also been scheduled during the summer reading program, including the “Owls” a program for all ages about the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter, with Breeana Allman, which was June 17, “Pirates, Aaaargh,” for ages 2-5 with Christine Brin of the N.C. Maritime Museum, June 24 at 10 a.m.; “Wooden Decoy Painting” for grades 2-5 sponsored by the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, July 10 at 4 p.m.; and “A Time Traveler in Carteret County: Thousands of Years Down East” for grades three and up with paleoecologist Dr. David Burner, July 17 at 11 a.m.

The Down East Public Library is located at 702 Highway 70 East in Otway. For more information, call 252- 728-1333.


Newport Public Library

Newport Public Library will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing with craft activities such as making lava slime and lightsabers.

Summer reading program participants have the opportunity to explore the “Universe of Stories” by reading lots of books, keeping reading logs and competing for great prizes.

Registration began June 17, and all reading logs are due no later than Saturday, Aug. 3 at the library.

The Newport Library is located at 210 Howard Blvd. For more information, call 252-223-5108.


Western Carteret

Public Library

Bookends, gaming, storytimes, magnetic slime and pizza. All these thrills and more are offered during the Western Carteret Public Library’s summer reading program.

Little Learners Toddler Time, programming for ages 0-3, is every Thursday at 10 a.m.  and concludes Aug. 8 with “Goodnight, Gorilla.” Other highlights include “Moon Bear” (June 27), “Our Earth” (July 18) and “Dirt!” (July 25).

Preschool Storytime, programming for ages 0-3, is set for each Tuesday at 10 a.m. beginning June 18 with “Rockets!” and concluding with a family movie for all ages at 10 a.m. Aug. 13. Popcorn will be provided. Other highlights include “Do You Want to be an Astronaut” (June 25), “Aliens Love Underpants” (July 23) and a special family crafts and dance fun event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 6. This is a bring your own lunch event, and cake will be provided.

Bookends, programming for ages 6 to 12, is every Tuesday at 3 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) with a family film for all ages at 10 a.m. and concluding with another movie at 10 a.m., Aug. 13.

Other highlights include “Mystery Mammal” with special guest Ms. Brin, June 25; “Project Superhero” (with special presenters, come dressed as your favorite superhero), July 16; and a special family crafts and dance event for all ages from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 6 This is a bring your own lunch event, and cake will be provided. All Bookends programs require a weekly sign-up.

Teen summer programs, for ages 12 to 19, are each Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Festivities begin with a “Game Day Smash Brothers Brawl” June 20 and conclude with a “Gaming Tournament and Pizza Party” Aug. 8. Other highlights include “DIY Glow T-shirts,” June 27; “DIY Light-up Canvas Art,” July 11; and “Magnetic Slime,” Aug. 1.

The Western Carteret Public Library is located at 230 Taylor Notion Road in Cape Carteret. For more information, call 252- 393-6500.

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