Games and fun close out summer reading programs

  • By Andrea McInnis Herald Writer
  • Sunday, August 8, 2010 5:18pm
  • Life

Balloons filled with gooey liquids.

That’s what Mill Creek children’s librarian Mickey Gallagher has coming his way.

The library will rent a dunk-tank-like machine loaded with those balloons plus a bull’s-eye for throwers to hit, to rain liquids — perhaps chocolate milk, spaghetti sauce or plain water — onto Gallagher’s head from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 20 outside Mill Creek Library, 15429 Bothell-Everett Highway.

The throwers have earned the right by meeting their goals in the library’s annual summer reading program. Each gets three chances to try to douse Gallagher.

In past years, Gallagher has dyed his hair pink and has eaten a cheeseburger laced with dead worms to celebrate kids’ participation.

“The whole point, of course, of these antics, is to get kids jazzed about coming to the library during the summer and to keep reading so that their reading skills would not diminish over the summer months,” he said. “And if that means that I have to do something that makes me look foolish, that’s a small price to pay.”

“Teen participation (in the summer program) was up slightly this year, with 3,228 teen book reviews submitted, compared to 3,067 last year,” Children’s and Outreach Services Manager Leslie Moore said.

“This summer, children’s library staff report seeing more families looking for nearby activities instead of vacations,” Moore said. “The library and summer reading events are a great option.

“We are seeing moms, dads and siblings at children’s programs and using the library.”

While younger participants simply set goals like a number of minutes to read per day, the program invited teens and adults to write book reviews and to have their entries made into booklists, creating a public resource. The booklists are at, under the “Summer Reading” links.

Other branches also have end-of-program activities coming up.

Summer Reading Dunk-A-Rama-Water-Balloon-Bubble-Bama-Lama-Ding-Dong: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 14, Community Resource Center, 9620 271st St. NW, across from Stanwood Library. This one also involves a dunk tank, but if it rains, a movie will be shown indoors; call 360-629-3132.

Cake and ice cream in the library at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Mukilteo branch, 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd., includes a visit from Mayor Joe Marine. Call 425-493-8202.

Beach party for teen participants from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 27 at Edmonds Library, 650 Main St. Hawaiian shirts and beach towels are welcome. Prepare for limbo, hula hoops and volleyball.

Check the events calendar at or call the libraries for more.

Andrea McInnis: 425-339-3479;

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