It’s July, and we are now officially in the “dog days of summer,” referring to the timeframe between July 3 and Aug. 11 — typically the hottest and longest days of the year.
Though this phase has less to do with dogs than it does the alignment of the stars, at Omaha Public Library it’s the perfect time to promote this year’s Summer Reading Program theme, “Tails and Tales,” filled with fun animals and fantastic stories.
SRP kicked off on June 1, and there’s still plenty of time to participate. All ages are encouraged to visit any of OPL’s 12 Omaha locations or omahalibrary.org to sign up. Kids and teens will receive a free book to keep just for registering. Read or listen for 10 hours and track your time to be eligible for additional prizes. Also, OPL staff have embraced the “Tails and Tales” theme and put together a variety of programs and services to help keep you connected to the fauna of our world throughout the summer.
Take a virtual field trip by attending a “Tails and Tales” out and about online storytime. OPL staff take storytimes behind the scenes at different locations in our community to share tales and make new friends with tails along the way. Upcoming destinations include Omaha Community Playhouse and Lauritzen Gardens. Later this month, OPL will welcome Wildlife Encounters via Zoom to introduce participants to amazing animals, and to share information about their habitats, activities, diets and more fun facts.
Of course, we can’t forget about a visit from one of our favorite literary animals. Between July 12 and 17, H.A. Rey’s mischievous Curious George will visit several online storytimes. This is a wonderful time for OPL’s youngest patrons to interact with a beloved storybook character while experiencing stories, creative movement, music and more.
Storytimes also focus on the early literacy skills of singing, playing, reading, writing and talking, which help to build a solid foundation for future academic success. Parents and caregivers can register to attend any of these programs by calling their neighborhood OPL branch or online at omahalibrary.org.
The SRP animal theme isn’t just for kids. OPL staff have curated a variety of booklists for all ages to explore different types of animals and the relationship between animals and humans. Find suggestions for everything from pet picture books and fishy tales for kids, to fantasy books featuring animals and creatures for teens. Adults may enjoy recommendations of books where everything turns out OK for the pets in the end, or perhaps a simple list of books about animals to help them complete the seventh challenge in OPL’s annual Reading Challenge.
In contrast to last summer, all OPL locations are open this summer, and we invite you to visit your favorite branch (or all 12) to enjoy some of the incredible animal-themed displays.
At Abrahams and Cather libraries, you may find yourself immersed in a tropical rainforest. Return your books to a whale shark at Swanson library, or to creatures made of many animals at Saddlebrook library.
Wherever the rest of the summer takes you, remember that you can bring tales from OPL with you wherever you go. Whether through books, movies and magazines checked out at a library, or through eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, and music available through a mobile app — all you need is your OPL card to get you through the dog days.