Summer Reading Challenge: Tails and Tales

Tails and Tales

Thursday, May 27 – Friday, August 6

The library’s all-ages Summer Reading Challenge kicks off on Thursday, May 27 and runs through Friday, August 6. The theme this year is Tails and Tales, and the Youth and Adult Services Departments have planned exciting challenges and events for all ages!

Youth Program

Children ages 17 and under can sign up by visiting the Children’s Room or filling out the registration form on or after Thursday, May 27. Pick up or print out a Reading Record, and begin recording the amount of time you spend reading or that someone reads to you. Listening to audiobooks also counts.

Each space on the reading record equals ten (10) minutes of reading. Color one space for every ten (10) minutes spent reading. Read for 600 minutes/10 hours to receive a tote bag and a ticket to a Cleveland Monsters game; read for 1,200 minutes/20 hours to get a free book and a grand prize raffle drawing entry. Participants may complete one reading record.

The final day to enter is August 6. Prizewinners will be notified on or after August 9, 2021.

Throughout the summer, enjoy programs on the theme of Tails and Tales, including an all-ages virtual visit to the Toledo Zoo on June 10 at 6:00 pm. Farm to You will bring live animals to the library on July 31 at 2:00 pm.

Grand Prizes:

1. Care for a Critter: Choose the animal from the Akron Zoo that KFL will sponsor
2. Donation made to the Portage County Animal Protective League in the participant’s name
3. Dog Themed Prize Pack
4. Pete the Cat Themed Prize Pack
5. Dinosaur Themed Prize Pack
6. Kent Gift Card Package
7. Kent Gift Card Package #2
8. Folkmanis Fingerpuppets and Books
9. Target Gift Card
10. Message Board, Telestrations Game and BoogieBoard Prize Pack

Adult Program

But why should the kids have all the fun? Adults ages 18 can also pick up or print out a Reading Record on or after Thursday, May 27 and start recording the time spent reading in 15 minute increments. After 10 hours, bring your reading record in to receive a KFL tote bag and a coupon for $10 off your stay at an Ohio State Park campground, cabin, or lodge. Continue reading for an additional 10 hours to receive a grand prize entry in a drawing for one of 10 amazing prizes.

Super readers can continue reading to receive additional grand prize entries when they reach a total of 40 and 80 hours. In addition, turn over a new leaf by completing challenges designed to help you learn more about library services, and receive another grand prize entry (limit 4 entries).

Reading Records must be turned in by 6:00 pm on Friday, August 6.

The library is also planning some wonderful programs on the theme of Tails and Tales, including a virtual visit from Dr. Aysha Akhtar, author of Our Symphony with Animals on Thursday, July 8.

Grand Prizes–Come in and see them in the display case by the Information Desk!

  1. Kent Restaurant Gift Cards: $20 gift cards to The Battleground, Erie Street Kitchen, Grazers, and The River Merchant
  2. Kent Shop Gift Cards: $20 gift cards Bent Tree Coffee Roasters, Haymaker Farmers’ Market, Off the Wagon, and Popped!
  3. Brunch in Kent Gift Cards: $20 gift cards Little City Grill, Over Easy Morning Cafe, Tree City Coffee, Wild Goats Cafe
  4. Bird Lover’s Basket: A bird feeder, puzzle, notecards, and $20 gift card to Tree City Feed
  5. Black Squirrel Lover’s Basket: T-shirt, Tote, Tumbler with straw, Travel mug, Stuffed toy, Mug, Decals, Change purse
  6. British TV: A one-year subscription to Acorn TV and a copy of James Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories
  7. Puzzles: 6 animal-themed puzzles
  8. Writer’s Basket: Book on writing, Writers’ prompts, Mug, Tea, T-shirt, Do Not Disturb sign, Keychain
  9. A memorial/honor brick at the Portage County Animal Protective League inscribed with the name of the winner’s pet(s).
  10. Movie Night Basket: A Fire TV Stick, 2 black squirrel pint glasses,  and snacks for a movie night (2 winners)

Wednesday, June 30 at 6:30 pm: Writing Program

Whether you want to enhance your fiction writing craft, or are writing fiction for the first time, hear about strategies for writing fiction from Kent State University’s Wick Graduate Teaching Artist, Caitie Young. This workshop is a two-part class combining instruction, writing exercise, discussion, and question & answer. Enjoy hearing ways to develop you own fiction writing craft while making connections with other local writers. Registration is required.  Registrants will receive an email with a Zoom link to the program. For adults ages 18+.

Thursday, June 24 at 7:00 pm: Black Squirrels: Kent’s Most Famous Critter

Squirrels are a relatively diverse group of mammals which includes nearly 300 species worldwide. We can find seven species of squirrel right here in Ohio. However, the most famous squirrels in-and-around Kent are the populations of black squirrels that have become synonymous with Kent State University. Greg Smith, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Kent State University at Stark, tells the story of Kent’s famous critter. Learn where black squirrels came from, why they are in Kent, and how human-created changes to the Northeast Ohio landscape impact their population dynamics and community structure.  One attendee will win a door prize! Registration is required and begins on Thursday, June 3. Registrants will receive an email confirmation with a Zoom link. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00 pm: Animal Communication with Judith Wade

Animal Communicator Judith Wade explains how to have heart-to-heart conversations with your pet using images, feelings, thoughts, emotions and even words. Learn how to gain insights on your animal’s well being, add clarity and understanding to health and behavioral challenges, assist in understanding their feelings and viewpoints, and strengthen your relationship with your animal companion. One attendee will win a door prize of a 30-minute private session with Judith (remote). Registration is required. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link. For adults ages 18+.

Monday, May 17: Children’s Summer Programs Begin

Check out our Library Events calendar for programs for children of all ages!  Many favorites have returned, including virtual story times, Builder’s Club, Tales and Treats, Books and Cooks, and Minecraft.  We’ve added some exciting new programs to the line up, like Walk and Talk: Parents with children that can ride in a stroller are invited for a walking program on Tuesday evenings at Tannery Park. Meet at Tannery Park at 6:30 for a 30 to 45 minute walk. This is a great opportunity to meet other parents with small children and get in some exercise! Registration is required for each meeting. Registration begins one week in advance of each meeting. Registrants will be notified via telephone or email if meetings are cancelled due to inclement weather. 

Check out the Library Events calendar for details and to register.

Virtual Book Clubs

While public gatherings remain limited, librarians are still leading lively book discussion groups on Zoom!  The library offers 6 different groups that discuss a variety of genres.  Participants can pick up a copy of the book for most of the groups at the Check Out desk a few weeks before the discussion; some books may also be found in digital format.

To come to a group, register for it on the Adult Upcoming Events page.  You’ll receive an email confirmation containing a Zoom link.  When the meeting starts, just click on the link in your email.  You do not need to have Zoom software on your computer.  To participate fully, you will need a web camera and a microphone; if you do not, you will be able to see and hear the discussion, but not be seen or heard.



Jane Austen Society book cover

Thursday Afternoon Book Club

Meets the 2nd Thursday of the month at 2:00 to discuss popular fiction books.  On Thursday, May 13, discuss The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.




One Flew Over the Cuckoos NestRead the Classics Book Club

Meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 to discuss classical and award winning literature.  On Tuesday, May 18, discuss One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey.




Everything Sad Is UntrueDiverse Voices Book Club

Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:00 to discuss books from authors who have been historically sidelined due to discrimination.  On Thursday, May 20, discuss Everything Sad is Untrue: A True Story by Daniel Nayeri.





Cover of Sex and VanityTreat Your Shelf Book Club

Meets the last Monday of each month at 6:30 pm to discuss popular recent books.  On Monday, June 7, discuss Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (due to the Memorial Day holiday, May’s discussion will be pushed back one week).




Cover of RoommateBetween the Covers

This book group discusses a variety of diverse romance novels on the second Tuesday of every other month. On Tuesday, June 8, discuss The Roommate by Rosie Danan.


Monday, March 15: Seed Library Opens

The library’s Seed Library will open with hundred of varieties of vegetable, herb, and flowers seeds available for free to all community members.  A library card is not required to check out seeds.

The collection is made up of seeds that community members donated from vegetables and flowers they grew in their gardens last year, and also from seeds donated to the library from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Seed Savers Exchange.  Seeds have been repackaged into envelopes containing about enough seeds to plant a 10′ row.

The collection is located in an old card catalog on the first floor of the library, around the corner from the Information Desk.  Seeds are organized by type of seed in each drawer and specific varieties rubberbanded together.

To check out seeds, visit the library and flip through the Growing Guide for available varieties or browse through the drawers containing the seeds.  Note that supplies of seeds are limited and first come-first served.  Not all varieties may be available throughout the planting season.  Choose up to 20 packets, no more than 2 packets of any variety.  Then just fill out a Check Out form and return it to the Information Desk.

Find information on how to plant seeds in the Growing Guide or check out the many books the library has on gardening.

If you have a successful harvest, please bring seeds back to the library October 2021 – January 2022 to help replenish the collection.  Information about saving seeds is available in the Growing Guide, and the library also has several books on seed saving.

The Seed Library will remain open until July 1.



Season’s Readings Winter Reading Program

Celebrate the winter by reading! Youth ranging in age from birth to 17 are invited to participate in our Winter Reading Program!
Participants may visit the library to pick up a Season’s Readings record. Each record has strips of paper for you to write the titles of books you read between December 1, 2020 and February 26, 2021. Fill in your name and phone number on the back of the slips of paper. Once you’ve completed an entire page of strips, bring it back to the library.
Each completed strip will be added to our Season’s Readings paper chain at the library; and will be entered to win a grand prize! Grand prizes include two Amazon Kindles and $25 Target gift cards. Participants may complete as many strips as they would like between December 1, 2020 and February 26, 2021.
Participants may only have one record at a time. On March 1, 2021 there will be a Facebook Live event where we randomly select eight strips from the chain as the grand prize winners of the program! Each participant can only win one grand prize.

December 11, 2020 – COVID-19 Service Update


While Portage County has returned to Level 3 ‘Red’ for the last several weeks, the library will continue in our current limited service model due to increased cases in Ohio. Please see below for latest safety measures and recommendations during our Library Express phase. We look forward to resuming all regular library activities in person when it is safe to do so.


  • The library building will remain open for computer use, Wi-Fi use, and browsing. Patrons are asked to limit their visit to one hour.
  • Whenever possible, send just one member of your household to the library.
  • For contactless service, utilize self-pick up of holds and self-checkout in the lobby.
  • Place holds online, on the phone, through live chat, or by email and pick up at the drive-thru window.
  • Masks are required at the drive-thru window.
  • Anyone uncomfortable using the drive-thru window may continue to use curbside pickup.
  • Patrons who need to print may speak with a librarian to request pick up and payment for printed materials at the drive-thru window.
  • Food is limited to the café area only.
  • Winter Reading materials for the Youth Services Department are available to pick up and drop off at the drive-thru window.
  • Kits for Youth and Adult Services Department programs may be picked up at the drive-thru window.
  • Masks and social distancing are required inside the building at all times.
  • Library programs will continue in virtual format; check the event calendar for details.

We look forward to the day when we can resume all regular library activities.

For the most up-to-date information about library services please check our website or Facebook page. Contact the library Director with any questions or concerns.

December 8, 2020: The library building is currently open for walk-in browsing and borrowing. Self-checkout is encouraged. Computer use remains limited to one hour per day. Masks are required and patrons are asked to limit their visit to one hour per day.

Patrons are encouraged to continue taking advantage of reserving items online and picking them up using contact-free options including Curbside Pickup or the Drive-Thru Window. You may return items 24/7 at the drive-thru return or the exterior return bins near the parking lot entrance.

Please note the following updates:

  • If you or a member of your immediate household are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or recently tested positive for COVID-19, please do not return your items to the library. Please email [email protected] for assistance if you receive overdue notices while quarantining due to a COVID-19 illness.
  • Due to the end of Daylight Savings Time, starting on Monday, December 14th:
    • Delivery to vehicles for Curbside Pickup will end at 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
    • Arriving after 5:30 p.m.? Please use the Drive-Thru Window to pick up items.
  • Due to the risk of inclement weather and to keep our staff safe this winter:
    • The Curbside Pickup procedure is subject to change. You will receive instructions from library staff after you call the library from one of the marked curbside spaces in the parking lot.

Visit the events page at for complete virtual program information.