Summer Programming at the Public Library

Published on June 06, 2024

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The Los Alamos Public Library has launched the Summer 2024 programming and events lineup. There will be activities and programs for all ages, including reading challenges (with prizes!), expert talks, special guests at What’s Up Wednesdays, crafting workshops, and ATOMICON!

All our events are updated regularly and kept in our Library Event Calendar, which can be found on our website at We now have a link to the Library Event Calendar on the Los Alamos County website’s Events Page, too.

On June 1, the Los Alamos Community Seed Library team invited Dr. Marisa Thompson of NMSU to talk about Climate-Ready Trees and how to adjust our tree care to respond to the mesa’s unique environment in the face of a changing climate. If you want to learn more about this topic, please talk with one of our expert library staff, who will be happy to help you find the right book. If you have a green thumb – or want to try – the library hosts the Seed Library in both branches, where you can pick up a packet of seeds for your windowsill pots or yard. If your harvest is lucky, we welcome you to return seeds to the Seed Library at the end of the season!

The library is holding its fifth Reading with Pride event to celebrate Pride Month. On June 12, the library will host Samuel Buelow as our guide to reading new fiction and non-fiction from LGTBQ+ authors and perspectives. Join us to learn about the latest titles and ask Samuel for suggestions and advice on expanding your reading.

Also on Wednesday, June 12, there will be a full day of workshops from artist Michael Albert as part of a community-wide partnership with the Arts Council and the YMCA Teen Center. Michael Albert, who calls himself a Cereal Artist, will help you create collage art with bright, colorful lettering cut from cereal packaging. We welcome all ages, including adults, to take home a masterpiece! In the morning, the library hosts a workshop for elementary school ages. In the afternoon, the YMCA Teen Center comes to the library to host an afternoon workshop for teens. The evening will be for the adults, as we welcome you to participate in the workshop at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

Summer at the library wouldn’t be complete without the annual Summer Reading Challenges for all ages!   Starting June 10, this year’s “Read, Renew, Repeat” theme ties together our challenges for you. The roster of titles to read, films to watch, activities to complete, and events to attend highlight the reuse of the old and revisits what’s classic. This year’s challenge activities include fun adventures and amazing reads for all interests and ages starting June 10. Everyone is invited to sign up for the challenges on Beanstack, where we will all track our progress through the activities. The more activities you complete, the more tickets you’ll collect. Throughout the Challenge, apply your tickets to the fantastic prizes we will be raffling off—Kindles, Samizdat gift cards, headphones, and more!

Do you need more reasons to join the Summer Reading Challenges? Up your reading game by participating in all or just a few challenges! Studies show the immense value of reading for people of all ages, especially when it’s self-directed and enjoyable. The act of reading or listening to a book strengthens various cognitive skills, including critical thinking and empathy. Reading boosts brain power, creating cognitive engagement, which can help with memory and brain function as we age. And let’s not forget the power of fiction to expand our creativity and emotional intelligence—it’s like exercising our minds in the best, most enjoyable way.

On June 22, award-winning author Lesley Poling-Kempes will be at Los Alamos Public Library to share details of her career writing acclaimed works on history and the women of the Southwest. Ask Lesley your questions about writing and research. Lesley will share details of how her research has changed from when she wrote her first book, “Ladies of the Canyons,” in the 1980s to the research she does today for her eighth book. She will share details of her current work, which will soon be published.

Create something new with old books! On July 20, we will have craft workshops, Recycled Book Art, at both library branches. Using old library books retired from our shelves or found books, two artists will help us create different kinds of art from these pages. At Mesa Public Library, we will transform the books into sculptures! White Rock Branch Library’s art workshop will create unique art that you can frame for your wall at home. Registration is open now – don’t miss it!

As the school year has wound down, the regular What’s Up Wednesdays (WUW) will take on a new and exciting theme for the summer months. At White Rock Branch Library, WUW will have a new series: “Read with a _____.” Join library staff every Wednesday to learn about our community from a special guest. Read with a chef, read with a police officer, read with a dancer, read with a garbage truck driver, and many other interesting people from our community.

At Mesa Public Library, What’s Up Wednesdays becomes a musical adventure for “Tune In!” Library staff have designed a literacy-based series featuring books, songs, music, and crafts. Musicians will join us to tell stories, play music, and help visitors make musical instruments. Every Wednesday is an extra fun day at the library!

For teens, we will run our Anime Club, Random Fandom, and Teen Advisory Group (TAG) throughout the summer. Anime Club is a chillout evening with snacks and friends who love to explore the world of the most incredible films. Random Fandom celebrates all fandoms and invites teens to share their enthusiasm. TAG is for any teen who wants special access to the library’s collections — join us to let us know what titles we should add to our shelves. You’ll get snacks, plus giveaways of prize packs from the library and publishers. Plus, you’ll get first dibs on all the new books that come to the library!

For those who want to chill out and watch movies with friends, we are launching a new summer program, After Work Anime, starting June 12. Anyone over 18 can come to Mesa Public Library’s The Zone with their evening takeout and chill to some great films. Chat with new people or bring your own crowd. And yes, you can chow down at the library in The Zone on your pizza or dumplings.

By the end of the summer, we will begin gearing up for the third ATOMICON on August 31. Get your costumes ready, prep your best gear, and join us for the most incredible fan fest in the Atomic City! This year’s lineup will include panels of writers and artists, many opportunities to craft and game, plus a Fuller Lodge full of vendors. Keep an eye on our Library Event Calendar for lead-up events in August (costume workshops, film clubs, and more) and details about the August 31 ATOMICON lineup. This fan fest has grown larger each year. It is beginning to put Los Alamos on the map of destinations for fandoms around the Southwest!

So come to the library with your library card in hand or visit us to get your very first library card. Los Alamos Public Library offers so much summer fun!