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Firehouse Arts Center’s new Little Free Library

In celebration of Pleasanton’s 125th Anniversary, the city’s Library and Recreation Department is launching a program taking readers on a stroll from the Pleasanton Library, along the sidewalks of historic downtown Pleasanton, ending with a free book at the Firehouse Arts Center’s new Little Free Library.

Beginning June 1st, children and the young at heart are invited to participate in a StoryWalk, a self-guided walk through the pages of Literary Arts Ambassador Meg Fleming’s acclaimed children’s books “Sometimes Rain” and “Ready, Set, Sail”, displayed in the windows of featured shops. The StoryWalk path will begin at the Pleasanton Library at 400 Old Bernal Avenue, where visitors can pick up a map to start their self-guided tour. Each numbered stop features a different page of a picture book, laminated and artfully displayed along the path and in downtown store windows.

“These experiences introduce children of all ages to the world of downtown community life, foster a love of reading and really help them discover the world around them,” said Pleasanton Assistant Director of Library and Recreation, Lia Bushong. “We are particularly pleased to feature the works of Meg Fleming, who has been instrumental in the literary community of Pleasanton.” For those that would like to participate in an organized tour of StoryWalk, a one-day kick-off is scheduled for Saturday, June 1st at noon, immediately following the children’s Summer Reading concert on the Library’s front lawn. Visitors will be treated to a lively tour led by the City’s teen improv group, Creatures of Impulse. Leaving from the Library, the Creatures of Impulse will take visitors on a fun-filled StoryWalk through downtown, ending with a special surprise.

The final stop on the StoryWalk takes visitors to the City’s Little Free Library at the Firehouse Arts Center, on 4444 Railroad Avenue. The Little Free Library at the Firehouse Arts is situated at the entrance to the Arts Center and is stocked with books for all ages, courtesy of the Friends of the Pleasanton Library. Books are available free to all, and operate on a “take a book, leave a book” concept. Little Free Libraries are part of a growing movement of free lending libraries that community members can design, build, stock and place outside their own homes. Each year, nearly 10 million books around the world are shared in Little Free Libraries.

There are several little free libraries in Pleasanton. Visitors to the Pleasanton Library can receive a copy of the Little Free Library Guide or download the STQRY app to easily find more little free libraries in Pleasanton.

As part of Pleasanton’s 125th Anniversary Summer of Celebration, visitors are encouraged to share their Pleasanton StoryWalk and Little Free Library experiences on social media with photos and comments using hashtags #PleasantonLibraryStories and #PleasantonLittleFreeLibraries.

Reading Through the Years is the theme of this year’s summer reading game, in observation of Pleasanton’s quasquicentennial. From June 1 to August 4, plan to enjoy a historic summer of reading fun for everyone, with some modern twists. The festivities begin June 1 with a family concert on the Library lawn. Take a trip to the future with Musical Robot, a high-energy ukulele-and-drum duo.

Pleasanton Library Children’s Department will be decorated throughout the summer to provide a 20-year retrospective of summer reading games, offering a trip down memory lane for those library-goers of the past two decades. Tuesdays the Library will be showing popular children’s movies. On Wednesdays, children can get ready for science, magic, puppet shows and more. Simple kids’ crafts will be offered each Thursday. The summer closes with historic-themed Summer Game Days, a carnival style event at the Library.

A new, modern feature of the Summer Reading Game will be Beanstack, a reading challenge software and mobile app that offers players the ability to log reading time, find book recommendations, post book reviews, earn digital badges and qualify for prize drawings. Beanstack can be used throughout the year to track reading and participate in other reading activities.

While children are earning fun rewards by tracking their reading throughout the summer, teens and adults can turn their reading into a chance to win prizes, including Firehouse Arts and Pleasanton Downtown gift cards. Weekly Sunday events for adults include music, photography, and Museum on Main local history presentations. The library will also screen two classic movies filmed in Pleasanton between the 1910’s and 1940’s. Rounding out the summer will be a Sunday musical performance by the CoolTones, playing classic tunes of the big band era.

For more information, call 925-931-3400 or visit the library’s webpage at www.pleasantonlibrary.org.