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Berwyn library kicks off Summer Reading Challenge

BERWYN – The Berwyn Public Library Summer Reading Challenge kicks off with a celebration of this year’s theme, “One Berwyn, Many Stories,” from 1 to 4 p.m. June 8 at the library, 2701 S. Harlem Ave.

Families are invited to an outdoor celebration in the library’s auxiliary parking lot at Riverside Drive and Maple Avenue. The event will feature live music, circus performers, crafts and touch-a-truck events from the Berwyn police and fire departments.

Everyone who signs up for the summer reading challenge will receive a free book. The challenge will continue after the kickoff until July 27.

The challenge encourages members of the Berwyn community of all ages to read, share their stories and explore the city.

Library staff is excited to share with Berwynites that their library “is a vibrant place, just like their city,” youth services librarian Marissa Elera said. “This year’s theme, ‘One Berwyn, Many Stories’ celebrates the diversity of Berwyn and the stories of those who live here and across the world.”

Some of those stories will be highlighted at the kickoff event, along with stories from familiar community members.

Mayor Robert Lovero will attend the event to officially launch the Summer Reading Challenge, and Alderman Scott Lennon will be serving snacks.

Attendees will be able to try out musical instruments, make crafts, share their stories via sidewalk chalk and enjoy entertainment from Cielito Lindo, Pocket Circus and djembe drummer Taylor from the Old Town School of Folk Music.

“We’ve continued the tradition we began last year by partnering with local organizations and businesses,” library interim director Tammy Sheedy said.

Some of those organizations, including the Berwyn Park District, will attend the kickoff event as sponsors. Others have offered their financial support for the program, which has allowed the library to offer free books to challenge participants.

“This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has been streamlined to allow community members of all ages to participate in the same challenge and enjoy the same activities,” Sheedy said.

Elera said this year’s program was designed so that patrons can “design their own reading challenge by choosing from a simple list of fun activities like reading, writing, drawing, telling or listening to a story, attending a library event, or even playing games.”

She added that while reading is important, the other activities included in the challenge would still help build reading and literacy skills.

For information, call 708-795-8000 or visit

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