Summer Reading Isn't Just for Kids Anymore

Get involved with your library's adult summer reading programs.

Libraries offer summer reading programs for all ages. Many libraries provide adult-oriented prizes, incentives, and recreational activities. Here’s how you can get involved with your library’s adult summer reading programs.

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Healthy Competition

Some summer reading programs foster healthy competition for users. Encouraging people to read for points and prizes incentivizes participants to read over the summer. Examples include libraries offering gift cards and fun tips to consistent visitors. If you appreciate healthy competition, find out if your local library provides for summer reading program participants.


Most summer reading programs offer gifts and prizes for competitive participants. However, some libraries get a little creative to make their incentives more challenging. For example, some programs require patrons to attend specific events. Others promise fine forgiveness for participating in adult summer reading programs. If you’re looking for a challenge, find out if your local library offers summer programs that encourage you to do a little more than reading.

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Libraries recognize that low participation sometimes has more to do with accessibility obstacles than the incentives they offer to patrons. Many visitors want to get involved with adult summer reading programs, but specific barriers keep them from participating. Examples include access to the library building, reading speed, or lack of inclusivity.

Thus, more librarians are creating solutions to these obstacles. For example, some libraries allow patrons to participate without a library card or track their reading hours instead of books. Other programs specialize in reading diverse materials that nurture a welcoming and inclusive environment.


Your library may offer unique opportunities if you participate in their summer reading program. Some libraries give patrons free passes to museums after reaching a specific reading goal. Certain libraries mix summer reading programs with their regular events. If you participate in your local library’s book club, they may offer unique opportunities during the summer.