Erie County Public Library Begins Annual Summer Reading Challenge

S.O.A.R. into reading this summer!

By Macaroni KID June 6, 2024

Are you ready to S.O.A.R. into reading this summer?

The theme of this year's Erie County Public Library annual summer reading challenge is S.O.A.R. — Step Out And Read — which encourages participants to read and engage with programs both at the library and in their community.

The summer reading program launches Monday, June 10, and will continue through August 16. 

The annual library program challenges Erie County readers of all ages to complete challenges.

S.O.A.R. challenges include:

  • Reading. To complete one reading, adults should complete 6 hours of reading, and teens and children should read five hours independently or read 10 books with a helper (for younger readers!). Every challenge you complete is another chance to win a fabulous grand prize! 
  • Attending a library program. The Library’s robust summer programming features partners like Tamarack Wildlife, Asbury Woods, WQLN, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, and more, while recurring children’s programming, including family storytimes, children’s book clubs, and block playtimes, will continue throughout the summer. Find details on all programming here:
  • Getting out and about! New this year, library programs are going out-of-office with "Librarians on the Loose," an initiative that extends library programming beyond the library buildings. Find Youth Services librarians at community settings for a storytime, activities, and crafts at differing locations all summer long. Additionally, the library’s Bookmobile has added a series of summer stops in conjunction with school activities to support students. Bookmobile school visits include Harding Elementary, Clark Elementary, Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Fort LeBoeuf Middle School, and others. Full library services including periodic programming is available and open to all members of the public at these sites. Find the Bookmobile schedule and all library programming online at

Special challenges, opportunities just for teens

The summer reading challenge for Teens (13-18 years old) includes several upgrades for 2024. After completing the required 6 hours of reading, teens will complete additional challenges to earn library pins! Designed in collaboration with the Teen Advisory Board, the button-earning challenges reward teens with a free bucket hat (what more stylish way to display their new pins!) when they complete at least 5 challenges. 

Unique teen challenges include: Attend library programs, create a library promo video, review up to 3 books, and make a book poster. Like the “Librarians on the Loose” initiative, teens can join the library at a “YA Book Tour” pop-up event. Teens will meet up with library staff at various parks to read and discuss their favorite books. The first “YA Book Tour” meetup is Monday, June 17 at 6 p.m. in the Frontier Park Labyrinth.  No registration is required and all events are free. Find additional “YA Book Tour” locations at

Get registered ... and get ready to read!

Registration for S.O.A.R. begins Monday, June 10, at all library locations. Early registrants will receive sign-up prizes while supplies last, courtesy of our sponsors: Erie Insurance, Friends of the Erie County Library, UPMC Health Plan, and Wegmans. 

Kick-off events are happening Monday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to noon at Iroquois Library and from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lincoln Library. Join the fun for activities and crafts, plus visits from our beloved therapy dogs, Neela, Finnegan, and Cody, and get started on completing your first library program challenge!

Save the date for these summer highlights!

Here are just a few of the summer programming highlights happening at your Erie County Public Library branches this summer, all of which will help you complete S.O.A.R. challenges!

  • June 10: SOAR into Reading Kickoff Events at Iroquois and Lincoln
  • Family Friday Film Series: Select Fridays at Blasco Library
  • June 24, July 22, Aug 19: Family Group Dog Walks at multiple locations
  • July 9: Asbury Woods Nature Tots at Millcreek Library
  • July 10: WQLN PBS STREAM Machine Visit at Iroquois Library
  • July 20: Worm Races at Blasco Library
  • August 12: Cardboard Drive-In at Edinboro Library
  • August 22: Piggie Party! At Lincoln

Every challenge completed during the program enters the participant into prize drawings. Register to win local community offerings like SeaWolves and Otters tickets, Erie Zoo passes, and more celebrating Erie’s cultural treasures.

For more information, contact the Erie County Public Library Youth Services department at 814-451-6936 or email