Library Columns Vikki Brown

Summer in Space by Vikki Brown

Library LinesSummer break is here! The kids are out of school, and are definitely looking for fun things to do.

Every year the Highlands County public libraries participate in a summer reading program. This year the theme is space, which is perfect with the 50th anniversary of the APOLLO 11 moon landing coming up on June 20, 2019. Of course, we will mention some of our upcoming activities at the libraries, but there are also other awesome resources available all year to inform, inspire, and entertain inquisitive minds of all ages.

One of these spectacular resources is the NASA website ( On this website, you can read updates of ongoing and upcoming projects, including topics such as humans on the moon.  For those who are visually inspired, NASA hosts many videos on the website as well. NASA TV is another visually appealing service on the NASA website. This programming includes livestream videos and views of the space station. Visitors to the NASA website can even choose their audience type, which includes a student section with a kid’s club area. The kid’s club includes games and videos for young learners.

For younger science enthusiasts, who may find the information on the NASA website daunting, even with the kid’s section, PBSKids is another great option ( With games like Space Waste Odyssey by the Cyberchase characters, many of the Ready, Jet, Go games, and The Great Space Chase with the Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, children are sure to have fun while learning about different aspects of space along with educational basics. The PBSKids website also contains tons of videos, many of them full-length episodes, of their shows. Some of the shows have episodes that discuss space topics, but there are a few shows that are space/astronomy centric or contain space-related characters regularly. These shows include Ready, Jet, Go! and the show Let’s Go Luna. These are just some of the space themed resources available with tons of other subjects available for children of all ages.

These online resources are accessible through library computers, of course. Inside the library are other great resources and activities with space in mind. There are always books available on space subjects, many of them recently purchased and/or published to gear up for summer reading, for all ages – babies to adults! With astronomy being a vast and almost limitless topic, there are hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books, movies, and audiobooks on this subject. There are far too many to name, but ask any of our library staff and they will happily assist you on your mission to find a great space book!

As mentioned before, there will be tons of fun activities for children and teens in the local libraries. For specifics on age and participation in the summer reading program (SRP) itself and the titles of movies, please contact your local library (Avon Park at 863-452-3803, Lake Placid at 863-669-3705, and Sebring at 863-402-6716). There are some events fast approaching. At the Avon Park Public Library (APL), registration for the summer reading program began on May 28, 2019 and will continue throughout the summer.

On Thursday, May 30, APL will host a kick-off, passive event. This event is a simple table-top coloring activity where all children can add their artistic spin to a table long space-themed poster. It will be available all-day and throughout the summer until it has been completed. On Friday, May 31 at 2:30 PM, APL will host the ever popular