Beyond the Shelf: Library’s Summer Reading Program invites you to ‘Find Your Voice’

Beyond the Shelf logo
(Daniel K. Lew)

Books, prizes and featured events beckon between June 1 and Aug. 31.


Beyond the Shelf is a monthly column about the activities and people at the La Jolla/Riford Library.

Let’s get straight to the point: Summer is practically here, and I would like you (and everyone you know) to sign up for the Summer Reading Program at the La Jolla/Riford Library! It’s for all ages, you will enjoy it and there are prizes! Most importantly, it encourages reading.

The program runs from Thursday, June 1, through Thursday, Aug. 31.

“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to encourage readers, and the wonderful prizes provide us with great summer adventures. ... The library is the best public resource there is,” said Wendy Beckman, a mother of two daughters.

“I think it’s amazing that there’s a Summer Reading Program,” said Sarah, 14. “I like that it encourages you to read more books and gives really cool prizes.”

Anna, 11, also relishes the challenge. “It encourages us to expand our reading interests,” she said.

Participants can log any combination of books read, reading hours or completed activities. Once you get to 10, come to the library to redeem your prizes, such as a book, restaurant coupons and museum passes. This is your chance to visit places such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Model Railroad Museum and San Diego New Children’s Museum and get a taste of Rubio’s, Mendocino Farms or Yogurtland.

Everyone who participates gets a book to keep. Adults also receive a complimentary journal.

The Beckmans plan to go to the library the first week of June to pick up a paper log to participate. For those who prefer to register and track their progress online, sign-up is available at

Our branch has featured events during the program, kicking off with “Reading to Dogs” on Friday, June 16.

The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program is “Find Your Voice!” a call to encourage authentic self-expression.

Activities vary depending on the age range of the participants. For instance, younger kids can attend a story time or make a memory box. Activities for older kids and adults include starting a journal or creating a personal encouragement jar.

The band Hullabaloo, pictured in December 2021, will perform at the La Jolla/Riford Library on Friday, July 28.
The band Hullabaloo, pictured playing at a La Jolla Historical Society event in December 2021, will perform at the La Jolla/Riford Library on Friday, July 28.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Attending a featured Summer Reading event at the library is an activity everyone can cross off their list. We have some incredible things planned, as well as a series of hula dance lessons for teenagers and adults. There’s dancing for children, too, thanks to a City Ballet of San Diego workshop.

You also can attend the Luau at the Library or a ventriloquist comedy show with Marc Griffiths of “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Because reading engagement is the most important aspect of the program, we’ve made sure that the featured Summer Reading events are sandwiched with ones that directly incorporate literature. Hence, the aforementioned cuddly canine event and our Summer Reading Program event finale, “The Secret of the Dragon Gems,” where co-authors Rajani LaRocca and Chris Baron will share their new middle-grade book while the San Diego Mineral & Gem Society showcases “very cool gems,” with hidden treasures throughout the library. The finale is in partnership with Warwick’s bookstore.

We want to thank the Beckmans and everyone else who uses the library and participates in our Summer Reading Program. We can’t wait to see you this summer.

2023 Summer Reading Program events schedule

La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.

• “Reading to Dogs” with San Diego Humane Society, 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 16

• “Hello Summer!” story time social, 10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 17

• Luau at the Library, 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 23

• Ventriloquist comedy show with Marc Griffiths, 4-5 p.m. Friday, June 30

• “Mad Science: Spin, Pop, Boom!” show, 4-5 p.m. Friday, July 7

• Drummers Without Borders concert, 10-11 a.m. Friday, July 14

• Arty Loon magic show, 10-11 a.m. Friday, July 21

• Hullabaloo concert, 4-5 p.m. Friday, July 28

• City Ballet of San Diego workshop, 4-5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4

• Zovargo: “Shout for Animals!” 4-5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11

• “The Secret of the Dragon Gems”: Rajani LaRocca and Chris Baron book launch with San Diego Mineral & Gem Society, 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19

For more details about the featured events, visit and filter for the La Jolla/Riford Library branch or call (858) 552-1657.

Katia Graham is the youth services librarian at the La Jolla/Riford Library. For more library information, email her at or visit