School is out and that means summer reading programs offered by libraries throughout the region are back with free activities and prizes until the end of August -- all with the goal of encouraging summer reading.
Mid-Columbia Libraries, the Richland Public Library and Walla Walla Public Libraries all are offering the programs for children and adults.
Musician Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies will be at the Richland library's Doris Roberts Gallery at 2 p.m. today.
Herman also will make an appearance at the Mid-Columbia Libraries' free Family Kick-Off Party later that day from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Columbia Park bandshell in Kennewick. The party will include fun activities and a performance by the Academy of Children's Theatre.
Herman will visit the Burbank branch of the Walla Walla Rural Public Library on June 19.
Other events planned by the Mid-Columbia Libraries for the summer include fossil and geology projects with the Pacific Science Center, gardening workshops with the Benton-Franklin Master Gardeners, a visit from comedian Alex Zerbe, entertainment and crafts from Kimmy's Kloset and a performance by Seattle's Recess Monkey trio.
Activities for the Burbank library branch include archaeology projects and evening events, including a talent show.
Each library has different reading goals for its participants, but they range between 15 to 20 hours before Aug. 31. Richland and Mid-Columbia Libraries will have finisher parties toward the end of program.
To sign up for the Mid-Columbia Libraries' program, visit the library district's website at www.midcolumbialibraries.org. Richland residents can visit the library on Northgate Drive to sign up. Sign-up forms also are available online for rural residents of Walla Walla County at www.wwrurallibrary.com/srp.
-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; email@example.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver