Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading for Teens: Build the Future

Summer Reading brochure cover

Please download the 2016 Summer Reading schedule for events at Teen Central in the Central Library and those held around the neighborhood branches.

The Teen Summer Reading Program will run from June 1-August 30. Visit to join the program. You’ll record your activities online to earn a badge for every book you read, review you write, quiz you take and library program you attend – and more. If you earn 30 or more badges, you will be entered to win one of six grand prizes sponsored by the City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library. Grand prize winners will be announced on September 5.

Build the Future at a Boston Public Library location near you with programs sponsored by the Rhode Island Computer Museum and Boston Bikes.

For all teen events offered by the Boston Public Library this summer, check out the online calendar.

Makey Makey Inventor’s Workshop

Use a banana to play a virtual piano or make a controller for a computer game with a pencil and PlayDoh! The Makey Makey, created by graduate students at MIT, is a small circuit board that connects to a computer and lets you invent your own keyboard with anything that conducts electricity (such as fruit, coins, and foil). Various conductive materials will be provided. Teens test out the controllers by playing games like Pacman and end by reprogramming their controllers to play Minecraft.

Grove Hall Branch
Wednesday, July 6, 2:30 p.m.

Coding with Minecraft

Use the power of code to summon lightning bolts with a bow and arrow, build giant rainbows, or spawn farm animals or monsters in the world of Minecraft. This workshop introduces teens to coding concepts through building and changing (“modding”) the game using a server plugin based on Javascript programming language. Coding with Minecraft is easy for beginners, challenging for experienced gamers, and fun for everyone.

Mattapan Branch
Monday, July 18, 3 p.m.

Sonic Pi

Learn how to use Sonic Pi, a programming environment that allows you to make sound with a tiny credit-card-sized computer.  The miniature ARM (phone)-based computer can be used to do many things that can be done with a desktop PC, such as word processing, playing games, playing back high-definition video and making MIDI music.

Teen Central
Monday, July 18, 3:30 p.m.

Make Your Own Video Game with SCRATCH

Learn about the history of video games and find out what it’s like to develop a game using SCRATCH, a program developed by MIT. In this workshop, teens explore the history of video games, including early computers, video games, and gaming equipment, and get a taste of team-based game development. Participants then form gaming studios to create animations and games with SCRATCH.

East Boston Branch
Saturday, July 23, 2:30 p.m.

Robots on the Run

In this workshop for budding engineers or anyone who wants to learn about electronics, teens explore basic circuits and learn how to build a simple robot. Participants discover programmable electronics and how to make lights blink, motors run, and more using the Arduino microcomputer and software. Information on the components used to make the robots will be provided for adventurous teens who want to build their own robots at home.

Hyde Park
Monday, July 25, 2:30 p.m.

Basics of Getting Around by Bike

Teens learn how to take care of and get around by bike. Experts provide tips for biking safely, staying accident-free, and avoiding bike theft and explore how a bike works, the parts of a bike, and much more. All workshop attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a free bike at the end of the summer.

East Boston Branch
Thursday, July 14, 6 p.m.

Hyde Park Branch
Tuesday, July 19, 3 p.m.

Grove Hall Branch
Wednesday, July 20, 2 p.m.

Central Library in Copley Square
Monday, July 25, 3:30 p.m.

Mattapan Branch
Tuesday, July 26, 3 p.m.