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Libraries promise young readers a 'silly summer'

The Henry Bloom Noble Library and the Family Library have joined together for the first time to bring primary school-aged children this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, ‘Silly Squad’.


This year the challenge is going digital in response to continuing Covid-19 restrictions in the UK, so entrants will need to visit to register and record their summer reading.


Children can read hard-copy books from either library or e-books from HBN Library, available at or via the Libby app.


The challenge encourages children read six books; alternatively, they can set their own reading goal. As they read their books they earn reading badges and unlock a whole range of incentives. The Silly Squad website is interactive, with a book sorter which helps with book selection and provides games, ideas and polls.


As well as the online challenge, the first 300 children to sign up at either library will be given a pack containing competitions, treasure hunts and activities happening throughout the summer holidays. Also, if they submit reader reviews, they can collect special edition badges.


Registration at both libraries starts on Saturday July 25 and the challenge will end on Saturday September 12.


Borough Librarian Jan Macartney said: ‘All of us at HBNL are really excited about teaming up with the Family Library to deliver the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge. Given the disruption to school life caused by Covid-19 these past months, it’s more important than ever that we ensure young people don’t miss out on the joys of reading for pleasure. With the new digital format and a new partner - the Family Library - it’s firsts all the way and a great opportunity in these unusual times for children to “get silly” safely.’


Paul Jones, Partner at PwC Isle of Man added: ‘As long-standing sponsors of the Family Library Summer Reading Scheme we are delighted to continue our support into 2020 for what will be a bigger year with the partnering of the two libraries. It is fantastic to see the libraries come together and combine their efforts during this time to offer reading and creativity during the summer holidays through the Summer Reading Challenge. We hope our local support of the challenge will ensure the children have great fun joining in, from collecting badges to taking part in silly summer activities.’


Regeneration and Community Committee Chair Councillor Stephen Pitts said: ‘The Henry Bloom Noble Library – as with many of the Council’s services – adapted quickly to new ways of working to manage the impact of the coronavirus.


‘It’s yet another example of how libraries have been swift to respond to customers’ changing expectations and recognition that the function of a library is far more than lending books; it’s about providing a service that reaches to the heart of the community.


‘I’m therefore pleased that thanks to this partnership with the Family Library young children will have the opportunity to stay engaged in reading throughout the summer and discover the timeless appeal of books – be they hard copy or digital.’