Get outdoors with summer reading | SkyHiNews.com

Get outdoors with summer reading

Grand County's libraries are making reading fun this summer by taking readers outdoors.

In a summer reading program aimed at "Building a Better World," the theme of this year's program, those that sign up will get to explore three unique areas off the beaten path within Grand County, including The Broome Hut, the Jacques Road trail and an ammonite site west of Kremmling.

"I'm hoping people will do these programs then maybe they'll come to the library and explore more on what they've learned," said Heidi McNinch, library resources specialist, who originated the idea to take the library outdoors.

McNinch, along with John Monkouski of the Bureau of Land Management, will lead the hikes. There, people will discover historical lands important to the county, learn about ecology and leaving no trace when out on the trails, not to mention getting some good exercise among the picturesque mountain landscapes.

"You'll go to The Broome Hut and become a birder," McNinch explained. "Or at the ammonite site, learn how Colorado was once underwater and see some fossils.”

Then you can head to any of the libraries in the county and do some further reading and research.

That's just one example of the Grand County Library District's imaginative paths to attracting more people to reading and ultimately to one of their town's libraries.

As part of the summer reading program, people of all ages — yes, including adults — will receive papers to fill out pertaining to what and how they read throughout the summer. Once the objectives are completed, they enter it to win a prize. For teens, that could mean a free day-pass to Winter Park Resort.

"We struggle with getting teens into the library," admitted McNinch, though it's typically a national trend as books are being traded in for iPhones, computers and Snapchat among Millennials.

But it's McNinch's vision, as well as those of the library district, to combat that with hands-on, fun and interesting sessions.

Today's libraries are no longer the stereotypical dusty, quiet spaces with a stubborn librarian peering at you from over her half-moon glasses. At least not for libraries in Grand County, which are fresh, modern and provide various services while giving an at-home feel for patrons.

This year's summer reading program is the latest concept coming from the area's libraries — a true cornerstone of the communities — that seek to reinvigorate a love for reading and a heightened level of literacy within Grand County.