Passport to Reading: Visit all 37 library branches in Erie County

Aug 3, 2017

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library has a unique Summer Reading event that is underway.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it's the Passport to Reading program.

These two young girls are taking on the library challenge. Their mom, Marie Vargo Whitney, sent us the photos. This is outside the Riverside branch.
Credit Photo provided by Maria Vargo Whitney

“Libraries are still a value -- they're still great for all ages,” remarked Mary Jean Jakubowski, library system director.

Jakubowski said the Passport program encourages families and children to travel to all 37-branches in the county, including the bookmobile. The Passport to Reading was created by library staffers. It allows those who travel to each location to discover something special inside.

“The best place to start is at your local branch – go into your local branch, asked about the Passport program or visit our website. Take a look, explore – we’ve got regional contests, we have countywide contests – come on in – get your passport – have some fun – get a stamp,” Jakubowski explained.    

This young girl is joining the challenge. Her mom, Marie Vargo Whitney, sent us the photo.
Credit Photo provided by Maria Vargo Whitney

You get your Passport stamped with each stop and enter to win prizes. There are maps to go along with the Passport program.

For families looking for a free summertime event to enjoy with their children it can be a great adventure and it’s also a great way for children to keep up their summer reading and avoid a summer slide while off from school and classroom teaching. 

This young girl is taking on the library challenge. Her mom, Marie Vargo Whitney, sent us the photos.
Credit Photo provided by Maria Vargo Whitney

“We all know what happens when they’re not in school for those couple of months. They seem to back pedal a little bit on their reading skills, their math skills, their science skills, so coming into the libraries, have been shown study after study, that this helps to maintain them at their current level and sometimes even advance them up to higher reading levels, higher mathematical skills, higher science skills – so we hope people will take advantage of this program again and really work with their kids on their summer reading projects and programs,” declared Jakubowski.

Each branch has a variety of events and programs from cooking classes to a place where you can watch the August 21st solar eclipse. More than 3,200 citizens are participating in Passport to Reading. Nine have already completed the entire journey