22 June 2014

SRP: Beaufort District's Literary History

The perennial Summer Reading Program (SRP) season has begun. Today over 95% of public libraries in this country run a SRP of some variety for youth. Fewer operate an Adult SRP but that number is growing. SRP began over a century ago as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas who were not needed for seasonal farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading.

Here in Beaufort County Library, our Summer Reading Programs runs through July 18th and includes all ages. We have programs for four age groups: 0-3 years, 4 - 10, 10 - 17, and 18 - up. Sign up. It's free and you can register online or in one of our branch libraries.

The Adult SRP theme is "Literary Elements." In line with that theme, we have put special collections materials by some of Beaufort District's finest writers from colonial times to the present on display inside the Research Room. Among the items are the first book published in London (1760) by a Beaufort District author; rare copies of The Hireling and the Slave by William J. Grayson, Shuttered Windows and Great Day in the Morning by Florence Means, Daughter of the Confederacy by Phoebe Hamilton Seabrook; and, contemporary works by Pat Conroy, Lois Battle, Valerie Sayers, Roger Pinckney and Ann Head (pseudonym of Anne Christensen Morse). [Please note:  Some of these links are not accessible outside our buildings without DISCUS user name and password.] Come visit the display and you can check off an activity on the Adult SRP program sheet.

Want to know more? Visit the BDC Research Room to read the books and peruse the vertical files we have on some of the books and/or their authors. Check out some of the titles through the branch libraries. Use databases to discover and read articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals about authors and their works inside our buildings or from your home. (BTW: Databases also include auto manuals, encyclopedias, and sample GED and GRE tests. If you need a username and password to access the databases from home, please contact your local branch library.)

In case you really want to know how and why the Summer Reading Program has endured and changed through time, the American Library Association recommends these two online resources:

Happy Summer Reading! Last day for completion is July 18, 2014.

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