Summer program offers perks

Joyce L Miller
In this photo taken prior to COVID, the Missouri Department of Conservation gave a program during the summer reading program held within the Camden County Library district.

A free book, coupons to local businesses and interactive activities with Babaloo — animal ambassadors from Dickerson park Zoo, Wonders of Wildlife — are all waiting at the Camden County Library system as part of the Tails and Tales summer reading program.

The library is a great place to visit anytime but especially during the summer when school is not in session. It provides a lot of free activities that kids and parents can enjoy.

The summer reading program began June 1 and runs through Aug. 14 with prizes, events and activities offered through the library system. The library offers several ways to participate in the summer reading program. Readers can log their reading online through the READsquared app (R2) or pick up a paper packet from any of the library branches. Readers can not only  log their reading, but there are different activities that are age-level appropriate. These can include singing songs, coloring, crossword puzzles, and more. As participants log their reading and complete the program, they become eligible for prizes. For those between birth and 18 years of age, when you register, you get a free book, and as different levels are completed, participants can earn coupons from local businesses. All participants will be eligible to win one of three grand prizes at the end.

It’s a fun and easy program for all ages to keep reading through the summer months, according to Coli Creach, who is the library system’s director or marketing and public relations.

Creach said the library is excited to bring back activities that encourage interaction after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the library system to cut back on services in 2020.

“This summer we will try to hold as many of our programs outdoors or at larger locations. For example, all Sunrise Beach Library’s programs will be at the Sunrise Beach Community Center, and Stoutland Library will be holding theirs at the Stoutland School. For events that will be outside, we suggest bringing along a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on,” Creach said.

Events on the schedule for the public to attend free of charge include Babaloo, Dickerson Park Zoo, volunteers and animal ambassadors from Wonders of Wildlife (BassPro Springfield), magicians, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and MeowTown Cat Rescue.

Prior to the pandemic, the library system had updated the teen and youth areas to include gaming and afterschool programs.

This  brought more kids into our libraries. Since COVID and the restrictions put in place to safeguard staff and patrons this has limited the number of kiddos we see in a day. We hope that with summer and the activities that we have planned, we will see an increase in the number of kids and hope that it continues once school is back in session in August,” Creach said. “Now that the Creation Station (MakerSpace) at the Camdenton Library is open once again, that always draws a crowd who love to explore music, printing in 3D, photography, and videography, to name a few.”

Don’t miss these special events:

• The Osage Beach Library will have Al Ortolani, Jr., a published poet visit on June 24 at 6:30 p.m.

• The Macks Creek and Camdenton libraries will host Robert Roe, who creates Native American flutes, as well as, plays them. Robert will be at the Macks Creek Library on July 14 at 10:30 a.m.. Roe visit the Camdenton Library on August 7 at 11 a.m.

• In honor of the Missouri Bicentennial, the Camdenton Library will host Dennis Stroughmatt, a French Creole fiddle player. Dennis will play songs and discuss La Guillanee: Ancient French Traditions Live in Missouri Through Music and Food on August 3 at 2 p.m.

For a full list of events and programs offered by the Camden County Library go to