It's in the books: Baltimore County summer reading club sets new record

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Cockeysville sees 5,741 participants; Towson has 2,808

August 21, 2012

Kids were reading this summer — and in a big way.

Baltimore County Public Library officials said this week that the recently completed 2012 summer reading club recorded the most participants in its 35-year history.

A total of 48,413 students, an increase of more than 2,400 students from 2011, took part in this year's club. When BCPL started keeping statistics for the program in 1984, there were 3,522 participants.

The largest single branch in regard to participants was Cockeysville, which saw 5,741 youngsters sign up. Next was Towson, with 2,808 participants (although the countywide bookmobile technically did a tad better, with 2,856 participants). Loch Raven mini-library had 311 participants.

The nine-week free library reading program, available to all ages from birth to adult, took place from June through August. The program was designed to encourage continued learning and development over summer vacation when students are most likely to lose a portion of what they learned during the prior school year.

"The branches saw extremely heavy participation in summer reading this year," said Marisa Conner, youth services coordinator for BCPL. "It's a great sign that more Baltimore County children are reading over the summer."

The program offered different events and activities geared to various age groups. The Read to Me Club was for babies and preschool children; the Goodreads group, which included an online component, was designed for high school students and adults; and libraries hosted a variety of programs including themed craft projects, scavenger hunts and more.

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