Reading is an important, everyday occurrence in my family, so for Read Across America Day, I thought it would be fun to highlight Idaho Falls Public Library (IFPL). Did you know that the IFPL not only holds over 340,000 books, audiobooks, music CDs, movies, newspapers, and magazines, but thousands of digital and audiobooks are available for checkout?
According to its mission, “The Idaho Falls Public Library provides materials of popular interest to the community, emphasizes and encourages reading by children, supplements the learning and educational needs of the community, and furnishes timely, accurate information.” Although many of their in-house programs have been put on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, the IFPL aptly fulfills its mission by offering year-round programs that can be completed at home. There are many programs for children, teens, and adults, and even some that encompass all age groups, like the annual summer and winter reading programs, and seasonal programming throughout the year celebrating a variety of events.
Programs for children include 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Grow Your Literacy Skills, and the Extreme Book Nerd for Kids. 1000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages caregivers to help build vocabulary and other literacy skills by reading regularly to their children before starting school. Grow Your Literacy Skills offers children (up to 12 years of age) a leaf on the library’s growing literacy tree, and a small prize for every eight books read from the library’s intermediate collection. Finally, this year, independent readers in second to sixth grades can earn an exclusive Extreme Book Nerd for Kids pullover hoodie by reading 25 juvenile collection or higher books of 100 pages or more.
Children are not the only individuals who benefit from the programs provided by IFPL. With current Covid-19 restrictions, teens and adults are also offered programs that can be completed at home. The Extreme Book Nerd Challenge for adults is a year-long reading challenge where readers receive an exclusive Extreme Book Nerd prize for reading 50 books that fit into 50 different categories. Another program geared toward teens and adults is the Book Nerd Your Way Challenge where readers read 50 books of their choosing, and receive a Book Nerd Your Way prize.
In-person programming will resume once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. These are my family’s favorite programs offered by our public library! Storytimes engage our early birth to six readers. School-aged children enjoy the IFPL’s STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math), weekly Tween Tuesdays, family events, and other weekly programs. Tween Tuesdays is a weekly science, technology, and art activity program for 10 to 14-year-olds. Chess (for elementary age and older) and Knit Together and Crafty Chicks (for tweens and up) round out some of the wonderful, weekly in-person programs that will hopefully be offered again in the near future.
Prior to Covid-19 restrictions, my family has also enjoyed the IFPL’s special in-person events. These events have been bright memories for my young readers. They have particularly enjoyed Dr. Suess Day events, the yearly Yule Ball that celebrates all things Harry Potter, and the parties that mark the end of the library’s summer reading programs. The IFPL also offers Storytime with Santa, Noon Year’s Eve celebrations, and a Halloween costume parade, among other events. I imagine that my oldest will soon begin to enjoy the yearly Austen Ball, for thirteen and older, which includes dance lessons set to authentic period music.
More information regarding IFPL’s programs can be found on the library’s website or through Beanstack. Here, under one account, the whole family can register and participate in library programming from home on the Beanstack website or mobile app.
IFPL offerings can also be found on the following Facebook pages:
Finally, you can contact IFPL‘s Director, Robert Wright, by phone at 208-612-8460 or by email at [email protected].