The McCracken County Public Library kicked off its summer reading program Thursday evening to the sounds of music and children playing in the Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza, across from the library in downtown Paducah.
The kickoff party was a way to promote the library's summer reading program, but the event, which included a performance by Kentucky string band Gideon's Rifle, did more than just raise awareness, according to Bobbie Wrinkle, adult services librarian.
"Free events like these bring families and people of all ages together. It creates a sense of community, with the library at the center," Wrinkle said.
The kickoff party was successful in drawing some of the library's regular patrons as well as some new faces.
Amie Tooley, who attended with her children, said the library's reading program and prizes were a good way to motivate her son, Nick, to meet summer reading goals assigned by his school.
The Tooleys stated, though they rarely visited the library in the past, they were excited to use it more this summer.
The summer reading program is composed of three age divisions: children 10 and under; teens 11 to 17 years old; and adults 18 and up.
Participants meeting certain goals receive prizes and are entered into drawings for specialty prizes such as Kindle Fire e-readers for the teen division and an iPad mini for the adult division.
Sarah McGowan, adult services manager, said it was just as important for adults to read during the summer to keep their minds active, and the library is a great place to start.
"There are so many entertainment options available to adults," McGowan said. "We're just trying to remind people of an oldie but a goodie."
For more information on the summer reading program and how to participate, visit the McCracken County Public Library's website at www.mclib.net.
Contact Daniel Paxton, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8667.