Summer reading program gets $2,500 grant

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

The North Shelby Library will soon be able to buy more books for its summer reading program with the help of Indian Springs town officials.

During a recent Town Council meeting, Indian Springs council members voted to give a grant of $2,500 to the library to help expand its summer reading program.

North Shelby Library Director Katie Guerin said part of the money will be used to purchase books for summer reading, and part will go to sponsor children’s programs at the library.

“We’ve seen exponential growth in the last several years here at the library. We need partners like Indian Springs,” Guerin said. “A lot of summer reading is about keeping the kids learning over the summer months. We definitely want to keep them engaged, and part of that is giving them a lot of books to choose from.”

Guerin said the library focuses on purchasing books to fulfill local schools’ summer reading lists. The library offers books on the reading lists for Oak Mountain schools, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School, Briarwood Christian School, Chelsea schools, Pelham schools and Hoover schools, among others.

“We buy hundreds and hundreds of books, because most of the schools have different summer reading lists,” she said.

Guerin said last year, 1,863 children, teenagers and adults participated in the summer reading program, which is open to all ages. Those participants read more than 27,000 books.

So far this year, more than 1,000 have signed up in a week and a half — about twice as many as had signed up at this point last year.

“We’re a little blown away,” Guerin said.

Indian Springs Mayor Steve Zerkis said the council wanted to help the library serve local residents.

“If you can’t read, you can’t do much else,” he said. “It’s a very nice program for little guys and older kids to go and read. We think that’s a wonderful investment in our community.”

For more information about the summer reading program, including how to donate and how to participate, visit