By Joy Maxwell Sharp, Mountains Branch Librarian

Summertime at Mountains Branch Library means Summer Reading for kids and grown-ups alike. Summer Reading registration took place in June, however families can still attend any of the fifteen different programs at all three Rutherford County libraries. Mountains Branch will hold Summer Reading Programs at 1:30 each Thursday afternoon from July 13th to August 10th with everything from Mad Science to Build a Better Bird House.

Delaney Cullen

A Makers Club will also be offered for kids ages 8-14 at 3:30 on Thursdays. Weekly registration is required for these activities. Families can register by visiting the website at rutherfordcountylibrary.org, or calling or stopping by any Rutherford County Library.

An Adult Summer Reading program is taking place again this summer with the theme of “Build a Better World”, reflected in the Challenge Activities. One activity is to attend an adult program. To that end, we are offering adult programs on Tuesdays at 5:00, beginning July 11th and wrapping up with a super fun Book Lovers Trivia Night on July 25th. Hint – there will be food. Drop by the library to sign up for “Build a Better Word” Adult Summer Reading.

The Friends of the Mountains Branch Library have been featuring some of the South’s best fiction writers during this year’s Books & Bites events. This month, best-selling author, Patti Callahan Henry will be reading from her latest book, “The Bookshop at Water’s End”. Set in South Carolina, the book is a story of the South, summer and secrets. Books & Bites takes place at the historic Lake Lure Inn on Tuesday, July 18th, beginning with book signings at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are $25 and include a delicious lunch prepared by the Inn’s chef. Books & Bites is a fundraiser for the Mountains Branch Library. Call the library at 287-6392 to reserve a seat.

Looking for ways to entertain yourself or visiting guests this summer? Visit the library and “check out” all the fun we have to offer! In addition to books, audio books and tons of movies, we offer board games, tablets preloaded with games and educational activities, as well as entire STEM-themed Maker Kits to inspire kids with activities like Kitchen Science Experiments, Car Design Lab, Lego Engineering and Nature Exploration – fourteen kits in all.

We’d love to have you check out one of our Explore Outdoors! Nature Backpacks. We have ten circulating backpacks available which contain everything you need to explore our amazing area. Each pack contains binoculars, a critter jar, a nature journal for recording your discoveries, a magnifying glass, bug, bird, plant and animal identification guides and local trail guides. They’re a perfect way to share family or alone time connecting with nature.

Finally, Mountains Branch is so excited to announce a brand new project we are confident all library visitors will love. 6-year old Delaney Cullen is the youngest grant recipient ever of a Seed Grant through The Pollination Project. Delaney, daughter of John and Cathleen Cullen, was granted $1,000 for her project “The Little Garden That Grew”. Delaney’s idea was to create a garden space at her Mountains Branch Library where kids could enjoy reading time and other library programs outside. The garden will incorporate Delaney’s love of reading, nature and people. Stay tuned for future announcements about the project’s progress and opportunities to contribute to The Little Garden that Grew. For more information, e-mail: littlegardenthatgrew@gmail.com.