Listen Up! Winter Reading is Here

Picture this: 1863, a family grouped around the fire, listening to someone read aloud from a novel. 1943, a family grouped around the cathedral radio, listening to actors perform a radio show. 2013, a family grouped around the iPad, listening to an audiobook.

The technology has changed, but the fun of hearing stories has not. The holidays are the perfect time to share great audiobooks, whether on the road traveling or curled up at home. We're excited to celebrate the joy of listening to books and stories with you through "Reading is Sweet: Listen to Some Ear Candy", our Winter Reading Program for kids, teens and adults, now through Jan. 10, 2014.

It's true there isn't always time to listen to a full book in this busy season, but don't let that scare you off. Try short story anthologies, downloading old time radio programs, or finding one of the many free podcasts available. Whether you like learning facts and witty banter (try Stuff You Should Know) or are intrigued by a dash of science fiction and horror in your community radio (my personal favorite: Welcome to Night Vale), there is something out there for you.

It's not just fun and games, though. Kids benefit from hearing stories read at and above their own reading level. Even for kids ages 9 through 12, listening to stories helps with vocabulary and attention. For adults, being read to is a fun and frugal way to build strong connections with friends and family. Check out Storytelling Back in Fashion, a great article on the benefits of adult story times.

When you join this year's program, you'll receive a bingo card with over a dozen audio based activities. Families with kids in 6th grade and younger can work together to complete a bingo and earn a prize for each child. Adults and teens who play earn one raffle ticket for a sweet prize for each activity completed. And yes, parents! - that means you can earn four raffle tickets just for participating with your kids.

We offer thousands of audiobooks, both on disc and downloadable from oppl.org. Grab a book, audiobook or download of your choice and join us. It's going to be sweet.

Stop in any library location with your Oak Park Public Library card to get started today. Find related events, links to downloadable audiobooks and learn more about Winter Reading for all ages.

By Shelley Harris, Children's Librarian, sharris@oppl.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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