The Kern County Library is giving away a ton of prizes this summer, everything from tickets to Blaze and Blitz games to brunch for two at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.
And all you have to do to be eligible to win is read.
The library launches its annual summer reading programs today and they run through July 28, with incentive prizes throughout.
There are three programs -- for kids, teenagers and adults -- and although participants can read anything they want, each program has been given a mystery theme, with related activities. The adult program, for instance, is being called "Summer Sleuthing" and organizers have arranged for best-selling mystery writer Joanne Fluke to appear Saturday at Beale Memorial Library.
This is the first adult reading program at the library. Brenda Scobey, reference coordinator at Beale, was motivated to start it.
"I had been thinking about developing a summer reading program for a couple of years. I knew other (counties) that had been doing it and so when I found out that the theme for the children's program was "Get a Clue," I said this is the year to do it. It's a cliche but everyone loves a good mystery."
Here's how the three programs work and how you can get involved:
"Get a Clue @ Your Library"
* For children.
* Starts today and runs through July 28.
* Read at least 10 books. Record each book you read on a "Get a Clue" reading log, available at all library branches and online at www.kerncountylibrary.org. Turn in the completed log (with a parent's signature) by July 28 and receive a free paperback book from Friends of the Kern County Library. You can choose from a selection of books. You'll also get a goodie bag with tickets to Blaze and Blitz games and other prizes.
* There's no prescribed reading list. You can read any books you want.
* "Get a Clue" activities will be held at all library branches throughout the program. Here's a sampling:
* Tuesday: "Mystery of the Missing Reader" puppet show, 4 p.m. southwest branch.
* June 12: Bakersfield Police Department K-9 unit demonstration, 4 p.m. southwest branch.
* June 21: Omnipresent Puppet Theater presents "Little Red Riding Hood," 7 p.m. Beale Memorial Library.
* June 26: Meet a special agent from the FBI, 4 p.m. southwest branch.
* June 29: "Flights of Fantasy Storytellers," mime, music, stories and songs, 2:30 p.m. northeast branch and 7 p.m. at Beale.
* July 12: Working Wildlife presents "Where the Wild Things Are," 7 p.m. Beale.
* July 25: Musician Chris Lopez, 3 p.m. Wasco branch.
"YNK: You Never Know"
* For teenagers.
* It works the same way as the children's program. Read 10 books by July 28 and receive a free paperback book and goodie bag. Your name will also be entered in a drawing for a $50 mystery gift certificate.
* There's no prescribed reading list. You can read any books you want, including graphic novels.
* There will be special events for teens at 2 p.m. every Friday at Beale Library, such as:
* Friday: Meet a private investigator.
* June 22: Tour the Bakersfield Police Department. Reservations required. Call the library at 868-0745. Meet at the BPD.
* July 13: Tips for teens on preventing ID theft.
* July 27: YNK Party and Urban Legends.
The southwest branch will also have activities for teens at 2 p.m. every Thursday.
* For adults.
* It works a bit differently than the other programs. Sign up at the Beale library at any time. When you're finished reading a book, fill out an entry form (available at Beale and online at www.kerncountylibrary.org) for a chance to win a prize. Raffles will be held Mondays every week through July 28. You don't have to be present to win. The library is raffling off everything from a Trader Joe's gift bag and a gift certificate from Too Fat Sandwiches to brunch at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace and a one-night stay at Best Western Hill House in Bakersfield.
* You can read as many books, or as few, as you want -- but the more you read the more chances you have to win something.
* There's no prescribed reading list. You can read whatever you want (including audio books) and they don't have to be mysteries. If you want to read a mystery, you can find suggested titles at www.kerncountylibrary.org.
* Special events for adults will be held at 2 p.m. every Saturday at Beale, such as:
* Saturday: Cookies and conversation with Joanne Fluke, bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries.
* June 16: "The Mystery of Floral Arranging Solved," presented by Michael's.
* June 23: The Empty Space Players perform "Private Eye," an old-time radio mystery.
* July 7: Family Sleuthing on ancestry.com. Space is limited. RSVP by calling the library at 868-0745.
* July 28: Writers panel featuring mystery writers Denise Hamilton, Naomi Hirahara and Patricia Smiley.
For more information about the reading programs, contact your local library or call the information desk at Beale at 868-0745.