In partnership with the Lebanon County Library Association, LebTown is proud to introduce “Library Letters,” a series of columns about the programming, people, and possibilities offered by libraries around the county.

Today’s letter is from Michelle Hawk, Director of the Lebanon Community Library and District Administrator for Lebanon County Libraries.

The Summer Learning Program at Lebanon County Libraries is kind of a big deal. Children and their families attend programs at the libraries with animals, magicians, storytellers, and musicians. They also read at home, on their own or as a family, and log their reading to meet their summer reading goal. They do activities at home and proudly bring the results in to show their favorite library staff and have their work displayed in the library. It’s a lot of fun for kids, parents, and library staff and, oh yeah, it’s also educational (but don’t tell the kids!).

Often when school is out for the summer, kids stop reading. What happens then is known as the “summer slide,” where children’s reading abilities backslide so that, when they return to school in the fall, they’ve lost some of the skills they had when school let out in the spring. Teachers have to play catch-up, and kids need to work harder. The Summer Learning Program helps to prevent the “summer slide” and lets kids hit the ground running when they return to school in the fall. For many families in our community, the library is the only source of free books, activities, and programs.

This year’s theme, Imagine Your Story, encourages children to explore classic stories and fairytales from around the world as well as discover new ones. But what does the Summer Learning Program look like this year? With our library buildings closed until further notice because of the pandemic, library staff are still hard at work (from home of course!) bringing library services to our community, and that includes the Summer Learning Program!

We still plan to launch the Summer Learning Program June 8th! Here’s a guide to participation this year:

  • Instead of attending a program at the library, attend programs virtually! Many of our scheduled performers will be offering their programs online, and we’ve even signed up a few more! Instead of visiting the library to report on your reading goals, log your reading goals virtually.
  • All Summer Learning information, schedules, and reporting tools will be found here.
  • Instead of visiting the library to borrow books, borrow books from the eLibrary.
  • We’ll also share announcements on the Lebanon County Library System’s Facebook page.

Our library staff is still developing this program, so keep checking the website to stay up-to-date on all the details.

GO Lebanon, the letterboxing program offered in partnership with WellSpan Health, will also return this year! Participants receive a program guide with clues to the hiking trails and reading recommendations, and an etching sheet to record the landmarks located. This program is set to launch July 1. We will announce when program guides and etching sheets will be distributed, and instead of turning in the etching sheets at the library, they will be logged online. Details will be shared soon.

We are grateful to United Way of Lebanon County, the Bishop Foundation, and our local libraries’ Friends groups for their support of the Summer Learning Program.

With guidance from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, our library staff is developing plans for library service that will continue to keep our community safe and healthy. When the Governor moves Lebanon County to yellow status, staff will be able to reenter our buildings and begin working toward offering limited public services such as curbside pickup. For the safety of the community and library staff, the buildings will not open right away. Online services will continue. Questions regarding library services may be emailed to

Hang in there – we miss seeing you in the library, but we’re happy to do our part to keep Lebanon County safe and healthy!

Read Previous Library Letters


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