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MA Summer Reading Programs Aim to Get Adults Reading Again

July 16, 2007

Less than half of adults in the U.S. read literature. Thousand of kids sign up for summer reading programs every year in this state, and now more and more libraries want adults to do the same. Laura Zalewski, from the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Wakefield, says they saw a need to bring back their adult program this year.

"I think adults get kind of get out of practice, and they forget about that a library could have a summer reading program."

A study by the National Endowment for the Arts shows from
1982 to 2002, the percentage of adults reading literature dropped from 57 percent to 46 percent.

Kathy Miksis, from the Reading Public Library, says the program runs through August, and adults only have to read one book to get involved.


"These are grown-ups, so they read a book or listen to an audio. Then they just come in, and there's a little area where they just fill out their card and stick it in the box."

Adult reading is moving online now, too. All state libraries have the option of joining an interactive website for people to blog about the book they read or to post book reviews. Shrewsbury, for instance, reports they have 60 or so people interacting online this summer. Susan Babb, from the Northeast Regional Library System notes it's the first year they've been able to do this.

"This is a pilot year, and I think we exceeded our expectations with as many as 170 public libraries and school libraries signing on."

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA