Sunday, December 4, 2022

Long-running Summer Reading Program to move online

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

The Williamsburg Regional Library’s popular Summer Reading is going to look a little different this year.

The library hosts a summer-long reading program each year that provides opportunities for children, teens and adults. The long-running program has become a staple in the community where families can look forward to coming into the library and logging their summer reading.

The program will be adapted this year to an online platform while the library remains closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“For many of our patrons, it wouldn’t feel like summer in Williamsburg without Summer Reading at WRL,” said Betsy Fowler, library director, in a news release.

Library staff wanted to continue the community program and decided to move the activities online.

The transition to an online program was complex for library staff because while some systems were already in place for online programs, there needed to be creative solutions to feature all aspects of the program, such as craft nights and story times.

As in past years, participants can log their books online at, which feature options for families to log their reading as a unit and offer incentives like virtual badges and themed reading challenges.

Another important aspect of the program is that children are able to talk about the books they’ve read with the librarians. This component promotes literacy skills and comprehension while encouraging children to be enthusiastic about reading.

To replicate this aspect, librarians will be keeping “office hours,” during which children will get to chat with librarians through Zoom meetings.

The Adult Summer Reading program will also be divided into two session that run from June 1 to July 15 and then from July 16 to Aug. 31. Participants have to log four books and complete one additional challenge within the two sessions in order to win a prize.

Prizes ranges from gift certificates, artisan goods and other various items from local businesses.

“We know how much [adults] need the community’s support right now, and they know how much we need support right now as well,” said Melissa Simpson, adult services director. “So it’s been a great opportunity for us to highlight and build each other up.”

For more information on how to participate, visit the Williamsburg Regional Library online.


Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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