Summer vacation's almost here, and it's time to dig in - to books.

Pima County Public Library launches its free Summer Reading Program Friday. And this year, kids can grab a free book when they sign up for the eight-week program.

"We want to give every single book we purchase away," said Beth Matthias-Loghry, a service manager with Pima County Public Library.

This year's theme: "Dig Into Reading." Participants are encouraged to try something new through the different events going on at libraries during the summer, from drawing and juggling workshops for younger kids to nunchaku and comic-book-writing classes for teens.

"Our real focus this summer is on events for all ages," Matthias-Loghry said. "We just want to encourage visits (to the library) and conversation around books."

Starting Friday, sign up for summer reading at any library and get a reading tracker that logs the number of hours spent with books. As kids and teens reach their goals, they can visit the library again and score prizes.

Adults can sign up for the summer reading program, too, but for them, reading is its own reward.

Last year, close to 40,000 people signed up for the reading program, Matthias-Loghry said.

Dig Into Reading

Sign up for the Summer Reading Program starting Friday. Find out about all the events scheduled throughout the summer in the 2013 issue of the Summer Reading Times, available at any library. The Times also includes book recommendations for all ages, how to choose books for your children, discount coupons and ideas for staying active this summer.

Some highlights:

• For kids preschool to age 12: the Sky Tonight Planetarium Show, June 12, 10:30 a.m. at El Rio Library.

• For 12- to 18-year-olds: Capoeira Mandinga class, June 19, 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Mission Library.

• For adults: Introduction to Video Editing, July 17, 6-8 p.m., Kirk-Bear Canyon Library.

• Summer Reading Celebration, July 20, 8-11 a.m. at Reid Park Zoo, 1030 S. Randolph Way. Kids 14 and under who have met their personal reading goals can present their invitation to receive free admission to the celebration. Their guests, up to four, can receive 50 percent off admission price.

Visit for information about Summer Reading events and activities.

Contact Kristen Cook at or 573-4194.