Although the Hutchinson Public Library has been open for business throughout the pandemic, it wasn't business as usual. Curbside delivery and 15-minute appointments became the norm. Thanks to Gov. Walz rolling back restrictions, in-person summer programming is returning at the library.

The summer reading program is back, and this year's theme is Reading Colors Your World. Rachelle Golde, youth services librarian for Hutchinson and Litchfield, described the theme as “bright and happy.”

“It's exciting to announce that we can have some in-person programming outdoors for the summer reading program,” she said. “This summer has a variety of programs available, from in-person outdoor programs to digital programs and take-home kits.”

Save the dates for the following in-person youth and teen activities:

Summer Reading Program: Registration begins June 7 and the program runs through Aug. 21. Children and teens fill out reading logs to earn prizes. Participants can earn extra prize entries for the end of the summer bonus drawings by filling out monthly activity game sheets. The more entries a participant submits, the greater the chance to win one of three unique prizes for children and three for teens to choose from.

Storytime: This popular program returns at 10 a.m. Thursdays, June 10 through Aug. 19, at Library Square in downtown Hutchinson. Storytime is geared toward preschool and early elementary grades, but all ages are welcome. Admission is free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy.

Golde is looking forward to being able to do Storytime outside in the park.

"It's a lot of fun to interact with the children during the in-person storytimes," she said.

In addition to the in-person event, HCVN will be streaming Storytime live as well as airing a recording. No advance registration is required.

Fun with 4-H: This small group outdoor program for grades K-5 meets at Library Square. It offers a STEM-based activity with a story component. Children must be registered to attend. Sessions are 1 p.m. Thursdays, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 5. See sidebar for registration information.

Maker Space: Youth age 10 to 18 are welcome at this small group outdoor program, which features an arts and crafts project. Registration is required. Sessions are 3 p.m. Thursdays, June 24, July 22 and Aug. 19. See sidebar for registration information.

Take & Make Kits: Monthly craft kits for children are available to pick up inside the library or requested for curbside pickup. Kits are available while supplies last.

Maker Kits: Take-home kits for youth age 10-18 are available each month while supplies last.

Summer Art Kits: The Hutchinson Center for the Arts is providing art and craft fun for all ages. Take-home art kits are available June, July and August for pick up inside the library or requested for curbside pickup. Kits are also available at the art center, 15 Franklin St. S.W., while supplies last.

Monthly activity packets and grab bags: These options are available in the library or by curbside pickup. Call the library for more information, 320-587-2368.

Unicorns Break the Cage! This digital program is presented by Talewise and made possible with funds from the Friends of the Hutchinson Public Library.

Australian Music Animals & More: This video program is for all ages. Viewers will learn about the culture, animals and music from “Down Under.” The video will be available July 12 through Aug. 6. Registration is required for viewing.

Aussie Funk Jam Didgeridoo Workshop: This program is recommended for age 10-18. Viewers will learn about the music, instruments and culture of Australia. They'll also learn how to make and play a didgeridoo and have a digital jam session. Pick up a take-home kit to make a didgeridoo.


There is a summer reading program for adults, too. If you're age 18 or older, you're welcome to participate and no registration is required.

To begin the program, participants may stop by the library or download a reading log from the library's web page. After completing the six reading challenges, participants may go online, stop in or call the library to fill out a participation form.

Turning in a participation form will earn a reader a small prize and their name will be entered into a prize drawing. A total of six raffle prize winners will be drawn at the end of the adult summer reading program.