Blackwater Regional Library

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading logo featuring two African American Girls carrying books and chewing bubble gum.

Welcome to the 2023 Summer Reading Program! 

This six week program is observed June 26-August 5, 2023. The library offers amazing family programs that are sure to keep you and your family immersed in activity throughout the summer! Please note dates and times will vary from branch to branch. We encourage you to utilize the schedule of events below as you dive into the many summer activities your library has to offer. As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have! Contact any branch of BRL for more information.

Summer Slide:

While we continue to promote the importance of daily reading, our focus during the summer months is to have participants visit the library to experience activities and to read for pleasure. However, we realize Summer Slide, the loss of academic and literacy skills, is a possibility. Therefore, we encourage parents to visit the library weekly to check out books of interest for children. If regular library visits are not an option, we also offer a variety of ebooks, e-audio books, and more through hoopla and Overdrive.  Need a library card? Register online to receive your digital library card by email.

Summer Reading logo All Together Now featuring a teen boy painting

Events by Branch:

Carrollton Branch – Thursdays @ 3pm (unless otherwise indicated)

  • Saturday, June 24 @ 10am-1pm: SRP Kick-off Registration and BINGO!
  • June 29: Magician Harold Wood
  • July 6: Escape Room – registration required
  • July 13: Mariners’ Museum presents “A Trip Around the World”
  • July 20:Heather Moore: Laughter Yoga – registration required
  • July 27: Isle of Wight Humane Society
  • July 31 @ 10:30am: Balloons and Bubbles Closing Party!

Carrollton Extras:

  • Storytime: Mondays @ 10:30am (up to age 5) – June 26 and July 3, 10, 17, and 24
  • Teens: Mondays @ 3pm – June 26 and July 3, 10, 17 and 24


Claremont Branch – Fridays @ 3pm

  • June 30: SRP Kick-off and “We Fit Together” puzzle
  • July 7: Mariners’ Museum presents “Mermaids & Monsters”
  • July 14: Elizabeth Cooper, Surry Extension Office, visits to read “PB&J Hooray”
  • July 21: Chippokes State Park presents “Skulls, Jaws and Fur”
  • July 28: Balloon Creatures by Susan
  • August 4: Chippokes State Park “Ask a Ranger”


Courtland Branch – Tuesdays @ 2pm (unless otherwise indicated)

  • June 27: Summer Reading Kick-off with Jonathan Austin Magic
  • July 3-7 (drop -in): Craft Week – Create a DIY Pinwheel
  • July 11: JB Rattles Reptile Show
  • July 18: Touch-a-Truck
  • July 25: Rainbow Puppets presents “All Together”
  • August 1 @ 10am-12pm: Awards Day!

Courtland Extras

  • Teen Night – Wednesdays @ 5pm June 28, July 12, July 26
  • Family Movie Night – Wednesdays, July 5 and 19, @ 5pm


Franklin Branch – Thursdays @ 2pm and 6pm (unless otherwise indicated)

  • June 29 @ 6pm: Virginia Living Museum presents “Community Conservation”
  • July 3-7 (drop-in): Craft Week
  • July 13: Histories and Haunts presents “The Life of a Pirate”
  • July 20: Mad Science presents “Fire and Ice”
  • July 27: Kingry Magic Grand Illusion Show
  • August 3: JB Rattles Reptile Show

Franklin Branch Extras

  • Drop-in Lego Challenges: Mondays, July 10 and 24, (9am-5pm)
  • Teens: Take and Make Crafts available for pick-up, while supplies last, during the following weeks: July 3, 17 and 31


Smithfield Branch – Wednesdays @ 10:30am (unless otherwise indicated)

  • Tuesday, June 27 @ 10:30am: SRP Kick-off Party! (registration, face painting, and balloons)
  • July 5: Youth BINGO for prizes
  • July 12: Mariners’ Museum presents “A Trip Around the World”
  • July 19: Heather Moore: Laughter Yoga – registration required
  • July 26: Singing Cowgirl Aspen Black
  • August 2: Kingry Magic Grand Illusion Show

Smithfield Branch Extras

  • Storytime: Tuesdays @ 10:30am (up to age 5) – July 11, 18, 25 and August 1
  • Teen Tuesday: Tuesdays @ 3pm – July 11, 18, 25, and August 1


Surry Branch – Thursdays @ 3pm

  • June 29: Summer Reading Kick-off and Balloon Creatures by Susan
  • July 6: Mariners’ Museum presents “Sailing Under the Stars”
  • July 13: Elizabeth Cooper, Surry Extension Office, visits to read “PB&J Hooray”
  • July  20: Chippokes State Park presents “Skulls, Jaws and Fur”
  • July  27: Singing Cowgirl Aspen Black presents “Sing All Together Now”
  • August 3: Virginia Living Museum presents “Animal Friends”


Wakefield Branch – Thursdays @ 10:30am

  • June 29: Summer Reading Kick-off with Kingry Magic Grand Illusions
  • July 6: Chippokes presents “Skulls, Jaws and Furs”
  • July 13: Susan Carmona “Fabulous Balloon Show”
  • July 20: Giant Jigsaw Puzzle
  • July 27: Mariners’ Museum presents “Sailing Under the Stars”
  • August 3: Bingo!


Waverly Branch – Tuesdays @ 2pm (unless otherwise indicated)

  • June 27 @ 5:30pm: Jonathan Austin Magic
  • July 3-7 (drop-in): Tiny Art Show supply pick-up
  • July 11: Bingo!
  • July 18: Chippokes presents “Skulls, Jaws and Furs”
  • July 25: Susan Carmona “Fabulous Balloon Show”
  • August 1: Mariners’ Museum “Pirates: Fact or Fiction?”


Windsor Branch – Tuesdays @ 11am  (Programs will be held at Windsor Town Center, 23361 Courthouse Hwy, unless otherwise indicated) 

  • June 27: SRP Kick-off! Mariners’ Museum presents “Monsters and Mermaids”
  • July 5: Craft Day – Giant Puzzle Craft (Program location: Windsor Library)
  • July 11: Talewise presents “Science Heroes”, sponsored by Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation
  • July 18: Kingry Magic Grand Illusion Show
  • July 25: Aspen Black, the Singing Cowgirl
  • August 1: Awards Day! Pick-up a free book and enjoy a snow cone! (Program location: Windsor Library)

Windsor Extras:

  • July 25 @ 2pm: Learn to play the Ukulele! (Program location: Windsor Library; registration required, please call 757-242-3046)

Printable Summer Reading Events by Branch


Thank you for visiting with us!       


Take a road trip this summer!  Museums and aquariums in the Hampton Roads area and beyond: 

Hampton Roads Naval Museum (Norfolk, VA)
The Hampton Roads Naval Museum, located inside Nauticus, is an accredited museum operated by the United States Navy, and celebrates the 234 years history of the fleet in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

Isle of Wight County Museum (Smithfield, VA)
Founded in 1976, the Isle of Wight County Museum tells the story of the county through its interactive exhibits including a turn-of-the-century country store as well as displays interpreting colonial history, the Smithfield ham industry, the Blackwater River, the Civil War and the Cold War.

The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News, VA)
For over 90 years, the history of the ocean and its relationship with humankind has been told and displayed in one of  the largest maritime museums in the world. 

Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin (Norfolk, VA)
Nauticus, a maritime science museum, celebrates the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. It features hands-on exhibits, wide-screen high-definition films, theaters with live actors, shark touch, and national-caliber traveling exhibits.  Nauticus is also home to the Battleship Wisconsin.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum (Portsmouth, VA)
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and the associated Lightship Museum cover the 250+ year relationship with the shipyard – America’s oldest and largest naval shipyard located on the Portsmouth Waterfront.

Rawls Museum Arts (Courtland, VA)
Rawls Museum Arts features visiting curators, lecturers, jurors, artists, performers and educators to facilitate programs and exhibitions that are as diversified as the subjects, media, artworks, and lessons they present.

Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond, VA)
From virtual presentations featuring STEM experts to fun videos on social media, and from in-person experiential exhibitions to in-depth lab demos, the Science Museum of Virginia looks for all opportunities to encourage Virginians to enrich their lives through science.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (Virginia Beach, VA)
The mission of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is to inspire conservation of the marine environment through education, research, and sustainable practices.

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum (Virginia Beach, VA)
The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum honors and preserves the history of Virginia’s coastal communities and maritime heritage. The scope of the Museum’s exhibits begins with the Virginia Beach Community and extends to subjects related to Virginia’s oceanfront, coastal and water-related heritage.

Virginia Living Museum (Newport News, VA)
The Virginia Living Museum is an open-air museum located in Newport News, Virginia that has many living exhibits of Virginia’s indigenous species. The exhibits include aspects of an aquarium, science center, aviary, botanical preserve and planetarium.

Watermen’s Museum (Yorktown, VA)
The museum demonstrates the role Chesapeake Bay Watermen, from pre-colonial to modern times, have played in the shaping of our nation, providing historical exhibits depicting  military and civilian water craft and activities, crafts and methods of their trade. 


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