McDowell County Public Library

2017 Children’s Summer Reading Program


The 2017 Children’s Summer Reading Program, “Build a Better World,” is for children from birth to age 11, and begins June 12 & June 13 at McDowell County Public Library’s Marion and Old Fort Branches. Each branch will have their own Summer Reading Kickoff event, where children will be able to register for the reading challenge, pick up their reading logs, and find out additional information about fun programs and events happening throughout the summer.


Can you read for at least 20 minutes a day for 51 days? That’s 1020 minutes or 17 hours of reading! For every 20 minutes you read a day, you will add a sticker to your reading log to track your progress. For every 10 stickers placed on your log, you will receive a raffle ticket, and when you fill your log with 51 stickers, you can turn it in at the library to win the ultimate prize package!


For every 10 stickers, you will receive a raffle ticket to enter into one of our Summer Reading raffle baskets. Once you have received 51 stickers, you will have completed the Summer Reading Challenge and receive a prize package. The prize package includes:

  • free gift coupons from local businesses
  • a paperback book
  • an invitation to the End of Summer Reading Celebration
  • a raffle ticket for the Grand Prize

Children must turn in their logs and deposit their raffle tickets into the desired raffles by Fri. August 11 at 5:30 PM. The library will draw raffle winners of the Summer Reading raffle baskets on August 12.

2017 Children’s Summer Reading Calendar of Events

Please note that registration is required for all Summer Reading Program events. Registration for an event will open up two weeks before its scheduled date. Please call the library or stop by to reserve your spot!

Summer Reading Kickoff
Monday, June 12, 10am – 2pm – Marion Branch
Tuesday, June 13, 10am – 2pm – Old Fort Branch

Celebrate the start of our “Build a Better World” Summer Reading Program at our kickoff party. This is the first day you will be able to register for the program and pick up your Summer Reading Challenge Log with instructions and program of events. We’ll have games, music, a craft station, and face painting. Don’t forget to dress up as your favorite children’s book character for a chance to win a hardcover book of your choice!

Family Story Time & Craft
Mondays, 10:30am – 11:30am – Marion Branch
Tuesdays, 10:30am – 11:30am – Old Fort Branch

Preschoolers and their families are invited to join us for books, songs, rhymes, and a craft. Story Time will start the week of June 19 and run weekly until Tuesday, Aug. 8 (except on July 3 and 4 in observation of Independence Day). Registration is required to participate in the craft portion of this program.

Summer Saturday Story Time at the Mountain Gateway Museum
Saturdays, 11am – 12pm
Mountain Gateway Museum, 102 Water St, Old Fort, NC

This summer, The Mountain Gateway Museum and McDowell County Public Library are partnering and presenting a family story time at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, North Carolina. Starting June 17, join us on Saturday mornings for books, songs, fun activities and occasional crafts. The last Summer Saturday Story Time is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Building Structures – LEGO© Challenge

Thursday, June 15, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch
Wednesday, June 21, 2pm – 3pm – Old Fort Branch

Whose LEGO® structure can support the most weight? Using LEGO® bricks, we will construct bridges, towers, and other buildings to be tested and then put on display all summer long. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Registration required.

“Rainforest Wonders” with KidSenses
Thursday, June 22, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, June 22, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Let’s take a journey to the Tropical Rainforest! We will learn about the diversity of plants, animals, and people native to the rainforest, and examine products that are made using ingredients from the rainforest. Presented by KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum. Registration required.

Recycle That! Craft – CD Sun Medallions
Wednesday, June 28, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, June 29, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Using old CDs, yarn, and permanent markers, we will create beautiful window hangings that capture and reflect the light of the sun. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Registration required.

“Build It” Magic Show with Steve Somers
Thursday, July 6, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, July 6, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Steve Somers presents the amazing magic show “Built It! Building a Better World One Reader at a Time.” We will learn how to be good listeners, set goals, work with others, and much more! Join us for an hour of tricks, tips, and laughs for the whole family. Registration required.

Building Structures – Build a Nest
Wednesday, July 12, 2pm – 3pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, July 13, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Using different natural materials, we will experiment to build the best bird nest, while learning about birds and their role in Earth’s ecosystem. Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Registration required.

“Reptiles and Amphibians” with the Lake James State Park Rangers
Wednesday, July 19, 2pm – 3pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, July 20, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Park Rangers Kevin Bischoff and Jamie Cameron from the Lake James State Park will be here to teach us about the weird world of reptiles and amphibians, and even show off some species native to our North Carolina habitats. Registration required.

“Building Blocks and Books” Magic Show with Professor WhizzPop
Wednesday, July 26, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Wednesday, July 26, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Local favorite Professor WhizzPop presents “Building Blocks and Books” Magic Show. Hilarious jokes, magic tricks, and balloon hats to be enjoyed by the whole family. Registration required.

Recycle That! Craft – Egg Carton Masks
Thursday, July 27, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2pm – 3pm – Old Fort Branch

Using old egg cartons, paint, and other craft supplies we will create masks to become superheroes, animals, monsters, and more! Recommended for ages 5 to 11. Registration required.

“The Balloon Lady” Donna Pruett
Thursday, Aug 3, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, Aug 3, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

What kinds of amazing things can you build with balloons? Donna Pruett, a.k.a. the Balloon Lady, will show you! Her balloon sculptures are just a part of Pruett’s many talents. Her show also features music, storytelling and engaging magic tricks for all ages. Registration required.

Kids Yoga with Rachel Adams
Thursday, Aug. 10, 11am – 12pm – Old Fort Branch
Thursday, Aug. 10, 2pm – 3pm – Marion Branch

Yoga instructor Rachel Adams will teach us the principles of yoga and a basic routine to get them on a path to a better body and mind. Registration required. For children ages 7 to 11.

Reading Logs due
Friday, Aug. 11, 5:30pm

Reading logs must be turned in by 5pm and raffle tickets deposited in envelops for the corresponding baskets by 5:30pm. Raffle winners will be drawn on Aug. 12 at the End of Summer Reading Celebration.

End of Summer Reading Celebration
Saturday, Aug. 12, 2pm – 4pm – Old Fort Branch

All Summer Reading Program participants who complete the Summer Reading Challenge will receive an invitation to this special event. Old Fort Library will host outdoor games, music, and a “Build Your Own Ice Cream Sundae” station. Raffle basket winners will also be drawn and announced (winners are not required to attend to win).

Any questions about the Children’s Summer Reading Program should be direct to Rachel Statham at (828)652-3858 or

  • Hours

    Marion Library

    Mon, Wed, Fri: 10-5:30
    Tue, Thu: 10-7
    Saturday: 11-5
    Sunday: Closed
    Holiday Hours

    Old Fort Library

    Monday: Closed
    Tues, Wed, Fri: 10-5:30
    Thursday: 10-7
    Saturday: 12:30-5
    Sunday: Closed
    Holiday Hours

  • Get in touch

    Marion Library

    Phone 828-652-3858
    Fax 828-652-2098

    Old Fort Library

    Phone 828-668-7111
    Fax 828-668-4013

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  • Find us

    Marion Library

    90 W Court St
    Marion, NC 28752

    Old Fort Library

    65 E Mitchell St
    Old Fort, NC 28762