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West Jordan Journal

Summer reading starts with music, action and, yes, goats

Jun 29, 2018 03:46PM ● By City Journals Staff

Kids see different types of minerals at Libraries Rock event. (Amy Green/City Journals)

By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com 

The Viridian has many special events, exhibits and celebrations all year long. It is a prime gathering hub, central to the surrounding Salt Lake County library locations. When a unique program is launched, the public can learn and enjoy here. Card-members can check out books while they explore and play. Libraries definitely rock. 

On June 1, the Viridian hosted Libraries Rock, a summer reading kickoff event for 2018. This end-of-school transition party brought different types of rocks—the mineral ones you can study under a microscope, big plastic ones for scaling mountain-style and other types. When musicians bring the funky sweet beats, that really rocks too. It was a rock-stacked occasion with a catchy theme. Although sadly, Dwayne Johnson didn’t show. Surely, he would have come had he known about it. 

West Jordan police K-9 unit came to set a calm and safe mood for beginning the hot summer dog days. The working pups were available for petting and pictures. Kids could climb into the back of a real police vehicle and “rock” the thug look for a minute. A world champion yo-yo master, Dale Myrberg performed rock ‘n swing toy pendulum tricks. 

Live goats were there. They didn’t balance on rocks but demonstrated solid, stable cuteness. Kids could test musical gizmos and make their own “sound sandwich,” a type of harmonica made with just a few craft materials. A photo station had blow-up guitars and punked-out sunglasses for rockin’ the selfie. Rockhounders came to offer information on their outreach programs, open to all ages. If there is any sliver of geology hobbyist inside you, visit www.rockhoundersock.com.

Nyssa Fleig, library program manager who helps plan events, said, “We want to inspire a love of reading, and we want to encourage kids especially to read all through the summer. We’ve found that reading though the summer is one of the best indicators of school success.” 

The goal for this event is to rally summer reading for everyone and make participation simple. Walking in, each patron was greeted with a reading record log to get started. No one was left under a rock (pardon the pun) or excluded. It is a fairly open-ended challenge for kids, little pre-readers, teens and adults too. The record log helps anyone jump into summer leisure and literacy goals. 

The library promotes even surface reading such as magazines, board game instruction manuals, or cool articles from the West Jordan Journal. It doesn’t have to be deep reading or an agonizing strain over Homer’s Odyssey. 

“Kids love to read when it’s not required,” Fleig said. “We don’t care if it’s a Facebook post or a novel. We don’t judge how reading is done. You can listen to an audiobook instead of reading. We just want people to engage their brains over the summer.” 

There’s also more to it than just motivating one to “library and chill.” The program encourages making things, gardening and going on adventures. 

“To complete the reading program you can actually read, learn, create, play or connect,” Fleig said. “We want people to get out into the community and visit their local museums, their parks and all those kinds of things.” 

If you’re not ready to budget for big concert and theater tickets, there’s other great stuff happening here: www.cottonwoodholladayjournal.com/2018/05/14/173271/welcome-to-your-summer-festival-guide. 

The reading challenge also ends with rewards, when completed and turned in to your local library branch by July 31. 

“It’s very easy to participate,” Fleig said. “Once you complete it, you get a free book, you get a ticket to our Library Days at the Natural History museum of Utah and you get entered into a drawing.” 

If that motivates you, but you missed the celebration, pick up a reading challenge record from any county library branch or online at http://summer.slcolibrary.org/index.html. If you were there in person at the Libraries Rock event, maybe that would count as a first check-off goal in your summer reading log? Rock ‘n roll with it.