Savor Summer With Outdoor Library Fun


Head Outside With Your Library

Whenever the opportunity arises lately, I head outside. As I dig weeds in my garden, swim at the pool, and hike local trails, I’m reminded that this hot, leafy summer will not last forever. Ice and snow are not far behind these delicious summer months, so I try to make the most of each sunny Wisconsin day.

And I’m not the only one. Library staff are out and about in Jefferson and Waukesha counties this season, taking the library into their communities with programs, services, and fun events in the warm weather. Here are a few ways you can connect with your library in the great outdoors!

Several people stand in front of orange Book Bike, looking into it and holding books

Libraries Popping Up In Your Community

The Waukesha Public Library has a new Book Bike, which they have taken to outdoor events like Buchnerfest in June. With a compartment full of library books to check out, the Book Bike is like a library on wheels!

The Mukwonago Community Library also has a Book Bike, as well as other crafts and activities from their MetaSpace 511 makerspace lab, which they’ve been taking to farmer’s markets this summer. It’s a fun surprise to meet up with a library while shopping for produce!

Group of teens standing in woods, looking at informational sign

Other programs have been popping up all over the county. The L.D. Fargo Public Library has hosted their Summer Library Program performers, like magician Matthew Teague, at Wallace Park in Lake Mills. The library’s storytimes and Kids Yoga In the Park program have also provided opportunities for families to enjoy nature while stretching, reading, and playing.

The Karl Junginger Memorial Library in Waterloo hosted a hike through the Garman Nature Preserve for teens. In Fort Atkinson, families gather with snacks and blankets in Jones Park every Wednesday morning to hear stories and sing songs with Dwight Foster Public Library staff for storytime.

The Jefferson Public Library has been taking the library around Jefferson all summer with their Pop-Up Library, complete with books to check out, crafts, free goodies, and yard games. 

Enjoy the Outdoors With Library Programs

Music concerts and movies can be expensive to attend, but public libraries have made them accessible for everyone this summer. Concerts At City Center are outdoor music concerts to celebrate summer, music, and community, held on the library green at the New Berlin Public Library. Not only is the music phenomenal, but families can enjoy outdoor games, snacks, and even a chicken toss.

If music isn’t your jam, watch a movie in your car instead! Outdoor movies aren’t a thing of the past at the Delafield Public Library. They’ve been hosting outdoor movies this summer with games, a photo booth, and snacks.

Crowd of people facing stage under a pop-up tent

If you’ve seen crowds of kids dropping eggs or throwing water balloons outside the Watertown Public Library this summer, then you’ve seen Camp Library, an outdoor fun fest every Wednesday in June and July.

The Powers Memorial Library in Palmyra has also taken their programming outside. From making wind charms to sugar scrubs, Palmyra residents have been getting crafty right on the front lawn of the library.

In Waterloo, over 60 people gathered for the Karl Junginger Memorial Library’s Big City Vehicles event. Waterloo EMS, Fire Department, and other community service departments parked their vehicles at the library so people could peek inside and explore. The snow cones provided by the library were almost as much of a hit as the big trucks!

Take Summer Fun Home With Your Library Card

Finally, kick your summer up a notch with all the things you can check out from your library. Yard games like badminton and cornhole, kayaks, an electric bike, and more are free to check out if you have a library card from a library in Jefferson or Waukesha counties. Talk to your library or search the digital catalog on our online catalog.

Summer fun won’t last long, but with your library, you can make the most of the warm days ahead.

Written by Jill Fuller, Marketing & Communications Librarian for Bridges Library System. A version of this article appeared in several local newspapers in July 2022. We are sharing those pieces here on our website a few weeks after each piece has been printed.