The overall theme was "A World's Fair in Books," building on the national interest in the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Different areas of the library were set up with different areas of emphasis, such as "The Palace of Enchantment" where books of fairy tales and myths were available, and "The Home of Modern Youth" for juvenile fiction.
One could also visit "The House of Earth" for semi-fiction, the "Gallery of Famous Persons" for biographies and memoirs, and "'The Children's Playhouse' for little tots." Groups interested in "visiting" a foreign country could sign up for their own program to be provided by the librarians, and a clipping club would be sponsored once 10 people registered.
Students who registered in the Vacation Reading Club, read 10 approved books, and made written or oral reports about those books, would receive proof of their summer accomplishments to bring their teachers in the fall. Those who read 25 approved books would also receive "a gold star certificate."
It's 71 years later, and the Athens-Clarke Library is still sponsoring Summer Reading Clubs. This year, for children, we have Make a Splash: READ! with prizes ranging from 10 books or five hours to 50 books or 25 hours, as well as puppet shows, concerts, story times, sing-a-longs, and even a Pirate School on June 11th.
Teens can participate in the Making Waves @Your Library programs, where they can win a tshirt and invitation to an End of Summer Party for reading 10 books, enter the art contest and Teen Film Festival, and attend workshops covering music, movies, bellydancing, and crafts such as Duct Tape Craft on June 17th.
The Adult program, Explore Your Community @Your Library, includes online scavenger hunts, opportunities to submit your photographs of Athens for a library exhibit, programs to help you find books you'll love (June 9th) or start your own book club (July 8th), and drawings each week for a prize from area businesses, with a grand prize at the end of July. Each book you read acts as an entry form.
- Athens-Clarke Library Summer Reading Programs website.
- Reading Suggestions, Reviews, and eBooks available through GALILEO. (call for password)
- Athens Banner-Herald, May 1939 - Sep. 1939 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Remembering Athens by Susan Frances Barrow Tate in the Heritage and general collection.
- The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller in the general collection.
- How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell in the general collection.
- Books Every Child Should Know: A Literature Quizbook by Nancy Polette in the children's collection.
- Book Crush for Kids and Teens: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, or Interest by Nancy Pearl in the young adult collection.
- Shelf Discovery: Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick in the general collection.
- Good Books Lately: The One-Stop Resource for Book Groups and Other Greedy Readers by Ellen Moore in the general collection.
- Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, or Interest by Nancy Pearl in the general collection.
- More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, or Interest by Nancy Pearl in the general collection.
- World's Fair by E. L. Doctorow in the fiction collection.
- Life Magazine photographs of the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
- Silent movies of the 1939 World Fairs in New York and San Francisco on the University of Pennsylvania Archives website.