Libraries building on summer goals with “Mega Challenge”

The Pioneer Library System’s librarians set a lofty community goal for this year’s Summer Learning Challenge. They challenged readers in their communities to take on activities like reading books, attending presentations, taking part in STEM-related programs and more. Readers earned points for these activities, with a system goal set to achieve one million points by the end of the Summer Learning Challenge in August.

But readers throughout the three-county system shattered the goal, reaching that one million point mark before the second week of June had even completed.

In celebration, each of the 12 PLS libraries in Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties will host a Community Goal Celebration to mark the achievement on Wednesday, June 26. Libraries will celebrate with an “out of this world” dress-up day related to this year’s Summer Learning theme, “A Universe of Stories.”

More importantly, the achievement has triggered a donation PLS will make of 3,000 books to children participating in the WIC program in each of the three counties. The book donations were funded by the Pioneer Library System Foundation, Cynthia Cooper and the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.

PLS is working directly with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, McClain County Health Department and Cleveland County Health Department to distribute the books during the next year.

More than 5,600 people have enrolled in this year’s Summer Learning Challenge and already almost 500 have completed their personal goal.

So what’s next? Now librarians are going to set a new goal in a “Mega Challenge” for communities.

This time, the goal number is to reach a total of three million points. Library users can continue to earn points toward their individual goals for the summer through various activities. And if they can hit this mark, there will be more celebrations and plans for a special STEM project with the Maker Mobile, the library system’s mobile maker space.

For more information on the Summer Learning Challenge, or any of the programs and services of the Pioneer Library System, go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org or download the Pioneer Library System Connect App, available on Google Play for Android devices or through iTunes for iPhones.

Blue Zones event looks at “The Edible City”

The Shawnee Public Library continues its series of Blue Zones Project activities with its upcoming program “The Edible City: Local Food Systems screening,” taking place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22, in Rooms A and B of the library, 101 N. Philadelphia Ave.

This will be a screening of “The Edible City” documentary in advance of the Blue Zones Project’s Foods 4 Life Festival taking place in downtown Shawnee later in the day.

The event is geared to ages 18 and up, and the documentary will run approximately one hour. No advance registration is required to attend.

The program is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information, visit the library, call 275-6353 or go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/shawnee.

Teens can show off their cooking skills in library challenge

The Shawnee Public Library is looking for young chefs to be part of its Top Chef Cooking Challenge, slated for 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the library.

The challenge is for students in grades six through 12, who will have a chance to show off their culinary skills to have a chance to earn the title as the library’s Top Chef.

Registration in advance will be required for this program as there are a limited amount of supplies available.

The Top Chef Challenge is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information, visit the library, call 275-6353 or go online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org/shawnee.

Launch into Writing at workshop

Would-be authors, those interested in improving their writing and anyone just wanting to leave the room feeling smarter are invited to the Tecumseh Public Library’s “Launch Into Writing: Mini-Writing Workshop,” scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the library.

The workshop is for ages 18 and up and will be led by published author Constance Squires. It goes into various aspects of the writing process, including tips for writing and research, insights into how the industry works and suggestions that could benefit writers of any experience level.

Squires holds a Ph.D. in English from Oklahoma State University and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. She has written multiple novels, including “Along the Watchtower,” which won the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction.

Space is limited, so registration in advance is required to attend.

Sponsors for this year’s Summer Learning Program are the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Friends of the Library groups, Hitachi Computer Products of America (Inc.), Institute of Museums and Library Services, Oklahoma College Savings Plan, Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, Sonic, Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoman Newspapers in Education.

Find out more about any of the library’s services by going online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org or through the Pioneer Library System Connect App, available for iPhone and Apple users at the App Store or for Android users via Google Play.

Take an “Extreme” trip with animal group

Take an “out of this world” adventure with a look at many types of creatures and critters with the group Extreme Animals in its visit to the Shawnee Public Library at 2 p.m. Friday, June 28.

The activity is for ages 11 and under and their caregivers and is part of the library’s Summer Learning Program. It will feature visits from several exotic and domestic animals and a chance to learn a little more about the animals and how they live.

Extreme Animals is an Oklahoma City-based organization that works both in animal rescue and in exhibiting and exotic animals for educational and entertainment purposes. The group has performed throughout the region including in past Summer Reading Program activities.

Registration is not required to attend.

The theme for this year’s Summer Learning Program in PLS libraries is “A Universe of Stories,” with programs taking on space themes, science and technology focuses and more.

Sponsors for this year’s Summer Learning Program are the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Friends of the Library groups, Hitachi Computer Products of America (Inc.), Institute of Museums and Library Services, Oklahoma College Savings Plan, Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, Sonic, Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoman Newspapers in Education.

Find out more about any of the library’s services by going online to www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org or through the Pioneer Library System Connect App, available for iPhone and Apple users at the App Store or for Android users via Google Play.