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They’re black and white and read all over…for learning and prizes

This summer, Byline is honored to join with other local business and civic leaders as a sponsor of the much-loved Skokie Public Library Summer Reading Program. Thousands of Skokie and Niles Township residents—from all ages—participate in the program each summer and wait anxiously for its annual end-of-May kickoff so that they can get a jump-start on their badge earning!

The tradition of Summer Reading programs has existed since parents first wondered what to do with their bored children mere weeks after the end of school. But now, libraries are using the programs as real tools of engagement within the community, as well as a way to teach participants new skills and a sense of “library ownership” that it would be virtually impossible to impart in any other format (what teen would ever willingly sign up for something like “how to find relevant data in a library database, for example?).

But the Summer Reading Program is different—participants sign up and are presented with a lanyard and ID card—and as they progress through the program they earn hotly contested badges and the ultimate achievement: the famed Summer Reading T-Shirt, which is only ever earned, not given.

Last summer, Skokie Library was able to use some of the resources from sponsors like Byline to implement new engagement tracking models, as well as new ways to define that engagement—like learning to use the library in new ways, reading books in a new-to-them genre and setting up an account with and trying downloadable resources like Hoopla or RBDigital. The results of these efforts were very encouraging: 84 percent of participants submitted something to the Camp Mailbox; 65 percent tried a library resource they’d never used before; and a whopping 75 percent recommended a book to a family member, friend, or other community member.

Byline is proud to have been and to continue to be a part of community traditions and literacy incentives just like this one. As an honored neighbor in Chicagoland for over 100 years, we’re thrilled to see generations of readers carrying on the traditions with just as much pride as we did…and still do.

To find out how Byline could support your event, contact us.