Summer Reading Starts June 8th

We have discovered some fun new ways to bring summer reading to you this summer and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Starting Monday, June 8th, you can sign up online through our website for summer reading or you can call us at 309-524-2480. Logs can either be printed out or picked up at the library.

Some things about summer reading will be different this year. Instead of picking up prizes as you go, all prizes will be picked up after summer reading from August 3 to 24. As long as you make it halfway, you will earn at least one prize. If you finish the program you will get the halfway prize, a book of your own to keep, and an entry into our summer reading raffle. If you read beyond the 30 day goal, you get a bonus entry!

Remember, summer reading is for all ages and includes any kind of reading! Board books, picture books, early readers, magazines, audio and e-books, graphic novels, nonfiction… they ALL count! Parents, feel free to include books you read to your child and don’t forget that our adult department has a summer reading program for you too!

Happy reading!

Miss Marta

Build A Boat Contest!

We LOVE contests!  Especially ones that have our patrons sharing their creative gifts with us!  In the past have done various creation contests that fit whatever the summer reading theme is that year such as castles, critters, and beach bags.  This year, with a water-theme for summer reading, we went with boats!  Our only real rules were that the boats had to fit a base of no bigger than 12″ x 18″ and that no food items could be used to build.  Otherwise, anything was fair game (and no, they didn’t have to survive a float test!).  The boats that came rolling in blew us away!


We have four categories up on display currently.  To make it fair, the categories are preschool and kindergarten, grades 1 through 3, grades 4 through 6, and a family category which is new but hugely popular! The cool thing is that patrons who come in can vote for their favorite in EACH category.  The winners will be displayed for a week before going back to their creators with a prize.  Voting is going on through the 20th, so if you haven’t voted yet, stop by and cast a ballot for your favorites!


Captain Underpants Party @ MPL


The Captain Underpants books already were flying off our shelves thanks to summer reading, but with the movie out, we knew we had to celebrate so we hosted a Captain Underpants Party!  We hosted a fun mix of games and crafts to keep our active superhero patrons busy.  This event was an hour and a half and patrons could come and go as they pleased so having activities that were open-ended and adaptable to almost any age was the goal.  From the feedback we got from our 150 guests, the things we planned achieved these goals!  The best part?  These are things you could easily recreate if you are having a party, whether it is for 5 guests or 150!  Read on to see what we put together.


Professor Poopypants Name Changer

As people came into the event, we had them start by finding out there Captain Underpants name using Professor Poopypants’ Name Changer.  This was a downloadable from the Scholastic site.

Because we wanted a more colorful sign, we just typed recreated it in Canva which worked very well.  Kids quickly wrote their new name on a name tag and off they went to the next station.


Superhero Masks

Since capes prove tricky in regards to expense (and sometimes liability), we opted to have a mask station where are patrons could create a mask to go with their new Captain Underpants identity!


Hypno-Ring Station

Personally, I’ve always loved when George and Harold hypnotize Mr. Krupp for the first time.  The image of him on the desk pretending to be a chicken before he becomes Captain Underpants just cracks me up!  That said, we knew we had to have a station with the Hypno-Ring.  We created a giant hypnotic swirl on paper and attached to what is usually a ship’s wheel decor piece from our summer reading.  We then thought up some super silly actions for kids to act out.  We created slips for each task, cut them apart and threw them in our handy dandy cauldron.  To get “hypnotized”  kids had to stare into the swirl while pulling an action to act out from the cauldron.  Honestly, I was worried some of the older kids would play the too-cool card and walk past this station but it turned out I was worried for nothing.  We had some super silly actors of all ages at this station pretending to be a hot dog about to be eaten, an angry chicken, a cat taking a bath, and more!

Toilet Paper Stacking Challenge

This station was a lot of fun and definitely easy for any age!  Kids could test to see how high they could stack the toilet paper without it falling and how fast they could stack.  We actually posted a volunteer at this station to time kids.  She also helped with our Pin the Cape Station!

Pin the Cape on Captain Underpants


We blew up and painted a large image of Captain Underpants himself for this version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  Kids would put the blindfold on, spin three times, and then try to pin (er, tape, to be accurate) the cape to Captain Underpants’ neck. I’m sad to say I don’t have an after pictures of this station because this guy was covered in red capes!


Undie Fling

I’ll be honest, this station went best with a parent or grown-up willing to be silly! The objective?  To stand behind the long red line and fling a pair of tighty whities as far as you could.  From that line to the first shorter line was about 4 feet.  Each red line after took you another 2 feet.  A lot of kids got to see a whole new side of their grown-ups that day as they were learning to use the elastic waistband to launch the underpants!  Even if they didn’t get the concept of how to fling them with the technique we were thinking of, a lot of kids were giggling as they threw giant underwear around the library.

Turbo Toilet 2000 Turd Toss

Yeah… you read that correctly!  The Captain Underpants books are well-known for their toilet humor and we couldn’t help help but go there!  Using a toilet seat, round trashcan, card stock, and some good ole’ duct tape, we created our own version of the Turbo Toilet 2000.  We then created “turds” from scrunched up newspaper covered in wrinkled brown construction paper that was wrapped up in packaging tape so it was durable but gave a squishy feel.  Kids had a chance to see if they could get 5 turds into the toilet before their turn was done.  Hands-down, we got the BEST feedback about this station from parents and kids alike!

Jerome Horwitz School Sign

We have a magnetic pillar in our department that we have done some fun stuff with in the past, but this may have been my favorite!  We created a school sign like in the books and put out magnetic letters for kids to leave their own silly messages!  We had tried to use smaller letters but the magnets didn’t quite cut the mustard so we ended up with large foam letters instead and the kids still had fun with them!

Coloring and Activity Pages

These printables were all free on the Scholastic website.

Doodle Stations

Have you ever tried Doodle Stations before?  We throw them up at events periodically because they are a HUGE hit with patrons, young and old.  Basically we cover table tops with white craft paper or butcher paper.  We set out colored pencils and leave a note letting patrons know we want them to draw on the paper.  We get some awesome art work doing this!  Check out these examples!


The activities you just scrolled through are located all throughout our department.  It prevents congestion and chaos in a main meeting room and still encourages people to check out the collection.  It also meets the needs of kiddos with special needs or families with very young children.  We keep more challenging crafts or activities where materials could be messy in our Children’s Program Room.  For this event, we had three activities in our program room.  We had the fidget spinners craft we gave you in our sneak peek, a Captain Underpants Bookmark, and a Playdoh Poo station set up for kids to explore at this event.  Even the big kids LOVED the Playdoh!  And who doesn’t love a fidget spinner these days?!

Throwing this together during Summer Reading was not an easy task, but it was worth it!  Our community absolutely LOVED our Captain Underpants Party!

One more week!

Girouard_2We have one more week left in the Summer Reading program! The last day to complete the program AND pick-up prizes is Saturday, July 26th. Make sure you stop in on or before that day to get all of your prizes and turn in your Find Foxy scavenger hunt for your raffle tickets!

And while you’re here, take a moment take our survey and let us know what you think about this year’s program and what you’d like to see next year!

Find Foxy: July 7-13th

Our friend Foxy is heading down the hill to one of her favorite restaurants in the Quad Cities — Culver’s!  Join her there, and don’t forget to snap a photo!



Stop by Culver’s and get a photo with Foxy (tag it with #molinekids)!  Mark this location off on your scavenger hunt and return to the library for a chance in the raffle! (Click here or on the photo for a map)

Paws to Read!

READRemember, Summer Reading starts on Monday, June 2nd! You can sign up in person or online (here).  We have a lot of fun activities planned this summer, so make sure you check out our calendar page.

We also have a few fun new additions!

First, in addition to our in-house scavenger hunt, we have added a weekly hunt across town for our mascot – Foxy! Girouard_9Each week we’ll feature a photo of Foxy at one of our sponsor’s locations here on the blog, and you’ll be tasked with finding him!  Every time you visit Foxy at one of our sponsor’s locations, you will get another chance in our raffle!

Second, we will continue our exciting new Exploratorium program every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. Make sure you drop-in for S.T.E.A.M. based activities and fun for school aged kids!

Finally, make sure that you register before June 16th if you want to get your name entered in the raffle for four tickets to Circa ’21‘s production of Stinky Kids.  (You can register after the 16th, but you will miss out on your chance to win!)

Can’t wait to see you next week!