Body — and mind — by books

Glen Baliscan said he’ll return to sign up for the Hawaii Public Library System 2016 Summer Reading Program with his son Norven.

“I forgot my library card,” Balisacan said Tuesday morning while reading books with Norven. “We come to the library a lot, so I’ll come back with my library card Wednesday to sign up.”

Carolyn Larson invites people to sign up for the program this week for some incentives that include McDonald’s certificates for an ice cream cone, apple slices, or a yogurt parfait.

“The Summer Reading Program with a theme of ‘Health and Fitness for the Mind, Body, and Soul’ starts June 5 and continues for six weeks through July 16,” Larson said. “But for people who register this week, it’s a short week until Friday, due to the Memorial Day holiday — there is an incentive for signing up early.”

The free summer reading program is open to anyone and offers weekly incentives.

This year, participants who complete four, or more weeks will receive a free book.

Larson said the Summer Reading Program 2016 is available at Kauai public libraries.

“This is a big change from previous programs,” Larson said. “Based on health studies, it is good to read at least 20 minutes a day. This change results in participants keeping track of time spent reading instead of the previous number of books read.”

Incentives are available for the different divisions, including active tracking of a participant’s progress through the six weeks. For the young readers, including birth to pre-K and toddlers, Makana Waiamau, the substitute Young Readers librarian at the Lihue Public Library, said there is an activity where a reader can make a pompom person that can either be placed on a wall tracking chart, or the reader can take home.

“Staying fit includes giving our amazing reading muscles a work out,” said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.

The library will host a series of health-related workshops and lectures covering subjects such as meditation, body building, yoga, and stroke awareness.

“We even have a dietitian from Kaiser Permanente offering ‘Get Your Plate In Shape,’” Larson said. “The stroke awareness program is being offered by the G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital.”

The fun element of the Summer Reading Program has already started at the Lihue Public Library, where a themed cutout greets patrons at the front desk.

“We’ve had a lot of people already taking photos with it,” said Victoria Lam-Mannisto, substitute librarian for Young Adults at the Lihue Public Library. “We had to bring out some stools so the younger people can reach the cutout. It’s been fun.”

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