Thursday, May 9, 2024

Unreadable: Podcast Transcript - May 2024

Are you ready for an adventure? In our May episode of Unreadable, Kim Ottesen, Programming Manager at FCPL, previews our 2024 Summer Reading program, including prizes and performers. We've made some exciting changes this year based on your feedback, so listen to get the inside scoop on what you can expect this summer. Hint: It's going to be an ADVENTURE!


Ross Gericke: Hello and welcome to Unreadable, the official Forsyth County Public Library podcast for news, upcoming programs, and recommendations. I’m your host Ross Gericke, the Branch Manager at Hampton Park. 

In this episode, I talked with Kim Ottesen, Programming Manager at FCLP, about our summer reading program. We have a variety of exciting programs and prizes for all ages this summer, so make sure to grab a copy of our Summer Reading Guide available now at all of our branches. 

Now on with the show. 


Ross Gericke: Hello, Kim, and welcome back to the podcast.

Kim Ottesen: Well, thank you, Ross.

Ross: So every year, Summer Reading is like a celebration all summer long. Why does the library work so hard on this one reading challenge?

Kim: Well, the library is committed to helping Forsyth County students avoid learning loss over the summer, and the best way for us to do that is to make reading over the summer as fun and enjoyable as possible. Summer Reading is also a great time for adults to model good reading habits simply by participating. So, we wanna get everyone to sign up for Summer Reading.

Ross: So, when is Summer Reading?

Kim: Well, Summer Reading will start on the last day of school, which this year is May 23rd, and it will run all the way through July 31st, and the very next day, on August 1st, school starts again.

Ross: Who can participate in Summer Reading?

Kim: Everyone can participate in Summer Reading. We like to say if you're breathing you can participate. Do you have a newborn? Sign them up for Summer Reading. Do you have a grandparent? Encourage them to sign up for Summer Reading. Everyone can participate in Summer Reading. Ideally, we would love to see our entire community really modeling good reading habits over the summer.

Ross: Last year was fun with all those various buttons. Are we going to be doing that again?

Kim: We most definitely are going to be doing the buttons again this year. We will have lanyards for a prize, the very first prize for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade, and they will get the corresponding buttons. And this year we will have individual stickers for our preschool kids, so that they can keep track of their incentives just like their older brothers and sisters.

Ross: Is there anything else that's going to be different this year?

Kim: This year, one of the things that's different is the adults will be getting incentive prizes along with the kids. We learned from our Winter Reading program that adults really do enjoy picking out a fun vinyl sticker as an incentive prize, so we will be doing that again for Summer Reading. 

Another thing that we have different, that we had a lot of feedback from last summer, is that our patrons would like more points buttons than activity buttons, so this year instead of three points buttons, we are going to offer five. So, kids can earn a button or a sticker every time that they earn 100, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 points. We're really hoping to encourage kids to read beyond the 500 points required to complete Summer Reading.

Ross: Kim, thank you for hosting me in your office today, because your office is very exciting. I see boxes everywhere – boxes full of all kinds of cool prizes. I almost tripped over some chess boards on my way in. We got a giant box here with something-or-other in it. Tell me about some of these prizes that are all around us.

Kim: Okay. Our prizes are super fun. This year's theme is "Adventure Begins at Your Library," so we really kind of focus on some outdoorsy things. So, we have – one of our prizes is a camping basket. We have an elementary camping basket which has a camping lantern, a sleeping bag, and a Weird But True book, which all kids like. That's just super fun, and we hope kids have fun with that. For the teens, we also have a camping camping basket that includes a camping hammock, a lantern, and a book that should help them in the outdoors called Bushcraft 101

So, we also have some awesome adult prizes, and I definitely want adults to know that we have them in mind for our grand prizes with our Gibbs Gardens basket, which will include four passes to Gibbs Gardens and an adult Lego kit, and for our Atlanta Botanical Garden basket that also includes four passes, so you can take all your friends to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for a day, and that also includes an adult Lego kit. So something to do outside and something to do inside. 

There's also this year a Georgia State Parks Annual Pass. We had that last year and it was really popular, so we wanted to offer that again this year. With that comes a national parks bottle, a water bottle, that includes stickers, so you can put stickers on your bottle as you go to all the national parks, so you can kind of fill in as you visit these Parks. It's kind of a cool looking thing. 

And there's one more thing outdoors that you can look forward to. You may win, as a grand prize, four tickets to the Cumming Country Fair and Festival. So, those are some really awesome outdoorsy things for our adults that I think our community will really love.

Ross:  Those all sound pretty awesome. I wish I could win them. Summer Reading programs are pretty amazing every year. Can you give us a preview of some of the performers patrons can expect this year?

Kim: We really go out of our way to find the best of the best for Summer Reading performers, and this year is no different. We have music programs, magicians, an acrobat, wildlife shows, science shows, and so much more. We have your favorites. We've got the magicians – Ken Scott; we have Lew-E the Clown; and we have Arthur Atsma. All three of those magicians are just huge crowd pleasers, so I'm hoping that most of our community can get out to see one of those amazing shows as well as many others that we are offering this summer.

Ross: That all sounds awesome, Kim. I cannot wait for summer to get started. Thank you for coming on the podcast.

Kim: Thank you, Ross.


Ross: Thank you for listening to the May 2024 episode of Unreadable. 

Ross: Please subscribe to our podcast on the Apple podcast app, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Contact the podcast directly with any comments by email at Keep up with all the excitement happening each month on our interactive calendar available on our website You can also stay connected with the library through Facebook and Instagram @focolibrary. Our theme music is “Open Those Bright Eyes,” composed by Kevin MacLeod. This and other compositions by Kevin MacLeod are available at I'm Ross Gericke and this podcast has been Unreadable. 

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