Sanibel Public Library’s 2022 summer reading program provided “oceans of opportunities” for fun and learning. Youth Services Librarian, Deanna Evans said, “Summer reading programs encourage children to read for pleasure while helping to prevent the ‘summer slide’–loss of the previous school year’s reading gains. Keeping kids engaged in reading over the summer break is critical to developing strong literacy skills.” Children also benefit from the rich literacy experiences afforded by special events and organized programs the Library offers during the summer.

As of mid-July, 266 participants (ages baby-to-teen), logged more than 76,000 hours of reading. Evans adds, “All of this summer’s numbers are super impressive and I am so proud of the readers.”

In-person family storytimes for younger children were held on Wednesday mornings, and family-friendly feature films were shown in the Library on Friday afternoons. Some school-aged program presenters included Sanibel Sea School Mobile Unit, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Master Storyteller Windell Campell, C.R.O.W., birdwatching with Ken Burgener, reptiles from Adam’s Animal Encounters, and more. Teens and ’tweens (grades sixth to 12) enjoyed Thursday evening programs including an escape room, crafts, Virtual Reality, video games, and competitive cupcake decorating. The “CSI Sanibel” program taught teens crime solving techniques with the help of a forensic analyst from Lee County Sheriff’s Department. The 2022 Summer Reading Program offered more than 35 in-person programs. For those who were traveling this summer, the Library’s eShelf offered a great selection of eBooks and audiobooks (in several languages) for readers of all ages. Families logged reading and activities online with Beanstack at

Over the past decade, children have read “for others” during the Sanibel Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Program. The great thing about the program is participants earned books for their personal collection, and for patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Since its inception in 2012, readers have helped to contribute more than 12,000 books to the hospital. New books are needed every year because books are given to young patients to take home. This summer as in year’s past, babies through sixth grade will earn books (and more). Teens can earn volunteer time when they read a book and write a book review, thus gaining the ever-needed service hours. The Sanibel Public Library Foundation, along with the Joan Hunt Cory Children’s Fund, underwrites the annual summer reading program. The Children’s Fund was established in 2008 to honor longtime library volunteer and supporter Joan Hunt Cory.

Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County, Florida, at no charge. You must present your valid driver’s license (or similar government ID) to staff, showing your current Lee County address. Visitor cards are available for a $10 fee and are good for one year.




Learning about turtles with C.R.O.W. staff
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