DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — School may be out, but librarians across the region hope the learning doesn’t stop. Summer reading programs are underway around the gulf coast. The summer vacation can also be a summer slump for academics. Librarians around the Eastern Shore and beyond are here to help turn things around.

Monday was the kick-off to Daphne’s summer reading program. Dozens of kids and parents crowded the Daphne Civic Center to get a bag of reading materials, and a snack, and sit in for some entertainment. Summer reading events are a chance to showcase all the books and media libraries have to offer. You can find a link here. The key is to go beyond what may be required reading for summer and help kids branch out into novels and nonfiction subjects that really drive them.

“We believe in bridging the gap between academia and public librarianship. So we want to be a cornerstone where children and adults alike come and still read during the summer months, because not only do we want them to read for the summer, but we want all to become lifelong learners,” said Assistant Children’s Librarian Shanavia Reed.

Mobile County’s summer reading program kicked off last week and they have several events planned throughout the summer.

Chickasaw also started this past week.

Today the Spanish Fort Public Library will have a day of events from balloon sculpting, to entertainment to a visit in the afternoon by animals from the Gulf Coast Zoo. That starts at 9:30 this morning and the animals will be there at 2 pm with plenty of things in-between.