Library Events Abolish Boredom

July 11, 2014 |
The Pima County Public Library's DIY arts and crafts series is extremely popular, as this show of happy hands can attest to. photo courtesy Pima County Public Library

The Pima County Public Library’s DIY arts and crafts series is extremely popular, as this show of happy hands can attest.
photo courtesy Pima County Public Library

The yearly inferno is upon us, dear Tucsonans. The dog days of summer are here and your seat belt buckle sizzles silently, waiting to scorch your poor fingers unless you happen to have a sweating fountain drink nearby to ease the burn. And if you happen to have young ones, you will no doubt hear the eternal summertime whine of pretty much every kid who ever lived: “I’m bored!”

Thankfully, the folks at the Pima County Public Library system have a very thorough and entertaining Summer Reading Program – which runs through mid-July – to keep your kids’ minds sharp and percolating with new ideas. This year’s program culminates with an end-of-program shindig, the Fizz-Boom-Read! Zoo Celebration at the Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court, on Saturday, July 19.

This year’s theme is science, with the core idea being that science is truly all around us, and all of the events and readings are created with this firmly in mind. “We really want reading to become a lifelong habit and want to encourage kids to read at least 20 minutes a day,” said Kenya Johnson, Communications Manager for the Pima County Public Library. The Summer Reading Program has specifically engineered content aimed at babies, kids, teens and adults, so no matter how old you are, there is genuinely something for everyone.

Events aligned with the reading program at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, for example, include programs such as The Science of Bubbles, Skulls from the Sonoran Desert, Sign and Storytime, Tech Craft for Teens, Mixed Bag of Minecraft, and Stop Motion Animation! There is an enormous spate of events going down at all of the Pima County Public Library branches under the banner of the program, though, so it is best to consult the calendar at for events closest to you. There is even an online component where kids can participate and track their reading all summer long!

In an era when our educational systems face incredible challenges, the one thing you can most easily do to enhance your child’s chances of succeeding no matter what they decide to do with their lives is to instill a love of reading as early as possible. The Summer Reading Program is an excellent opportunity to do just this.

Throughout August, there will also be Storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Children and their parents/caregivers will engage in activities involving learning, playing, and of course books. On Saturday, August 16, the main library, 101 N. Stone Ave., hosts another one of their excellent Do-It-Yourself (DIY) event series, geared towards both kids and the whole family, focusing on the art and history of mandalas.

Mandalas are graphic symbols that originated in Hinduism/Buddhism, and are supposed to represent a metaphysical or symbolic microcosm of the universe. There’s a basic form that incorporates a square with four gates and a circle with a center point, and traditionally they are used as teaching tools, meditative aids, or decorations to denote a sacred space. Participants in the DIY event will learn about the history of this art form and will make their own mandalas.

Again, the sheer number of events going on – and continually being announced – throughout the entire Pima County Public Library system is really something to behold, and getting handy with their calendar is essential. “I would also suggest that folks visit our website every week to see what new events and programs are happening. We’re updating our calendar every day,” said Johnson.

No time like the present to start making the fantastic spate of free activities and programs offered by the libraries a regular habit right here in Tucson. Did I mention every location has air conditioning?

Visit for the countrywide list of libraries and their events. This article is courtesy of the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

Category: Community, Events