By Linda Looney-Bond
The Clayton County Library System has launched a new summer reading program for adults, with prizes as incentives to read.
"We started the program because, traditionally, there are always intense activities and perks for summer reading programs [for children], so we thought we would put a little spin on that and give some perks, little prizes, to the adults as well," said Sherry Turner, managing librarian of the Clayton County Library System's headquarters branch.
The "Master the Art of Reading" adult summer reading program kicked off June 1, at all six Clayton County public libraries, according to Turner.
Adults, ages 18 and older, may participate by reading any books of their choice, including books that are not from the library collection. "They can read anything. They might be in college, so something that they're reading for an assignment is fine," said Turner.
"We have a lot of Bible groups that use the library. They might have to read a Bible commentary for their study. If they want to read romance, that's fine too. We just want people to read," she said.
Turner said although most who participate will likely be Clayton County residents, county residency is not a requirement for participation.
For each book read, participants are asked to fill out a short prize-entry form with information including the book title, author, a few thoughts about the book, and the participant's contact information.
Every Monday, through Aug. 31, each Clayton County library branch will draw one name to receive a prize, according to Turner. Prizes include restaurant gift certificates, movie tickets and books, Turner said.
"I think anything that has the label 'free' on it is a perk for all of us, with the economy," said Turner.
More importantly, she said, the program encourages a life-time of learning for the entire family. "You're reading and you're promoting literacy in your family. Talk about No Child Left Behind - we don't want any adult left behind either," she said.
Turner said there is no required length for books submitted for entry. "If one person is reading 33 pages and another is reading 700, so be it. This is another way that we can sort of embrace the community. We just invite everyone to participate," she said.
"Anything they've read since June 1 will count. We don't limit how many times they can enter as long as it's a different title," said Turner.
For more information about the adult summer reading program, visit a local Clayton County library branch, or the www.claytonpl.org web site.