Vita Mitchell, librarian in charge of teen programming at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Bluebonnet Branch, sat at a library table May 29 and showed library patrons Wendy and Lucy Xu, both 15, how to dress up a pair of plain flip-flop sandals with small colored water balloons.

“It’s something kids did when I was in school,” Mitchell said.

The class was one of many summer programs available for all ages at the libraries.

Mitchell has several more classes and workshops planned around the summer reading program, which kicked off May 27.

Once signed up, Mitchell said, each teen who reads six books will receive a drawstring book bag with the design of this year’s theme, “Spark a Reaction,” a book light and library bucks that can be used to buy books at the library’s used book sale or can be applied to library fines. This includes late fines only, she said.

In addition, for every three books read during the summer, teens will get a ticket to enter the weekly prize drawing, Mitchell said. Tickets also can be earned by attending programs at the Bluebonnet Branch.

This week’s programs are:

Origami Hearts and Stars: 3 p.m. Thursday. This tutorial explains how to make simple origami hearts and stars.

Felt Bow Hair Accessories: 3 p.m. Tuesday. Make hair accessories. Registration is required.

Yarn Wrapped Bottles: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Repurpose old jars and bottles with colorful yarn to make a vase, pencil holder, whatever you like.

T eens Spark a Reaction Part 1: 2:30 p.m. June 12. A day of science experiments for teens. Registration is required.

The library also offers a summer reading program for children younger than 12. This year’s theme is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” and children who read and log books will receive a certificate, a book and other special incentives, including coupons for area businesses.

Even children who can’t read yet may join the Read to Me Program with an adult or older sibling.

Children’s programs for this week are:

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Youth Ballet: 1 p.m. Thursday. The BRBT’s Youth Ballet will present an adaptation of the classic ballet “Firebird,” which is the Russian legend of a simple hunter who wanders into the garden of an evil monster. He falls in love with a princess held captive there, then rescues her with the supernatural power granted him by a magical bird of fire. Music is by Igor Stravinsky. Ages 5 and older. Groups must register.

The Harvey Rabbit and Friends Show: 2:30 p.m. Monday. Join Harvey Rabbit, Cecil the Orangutan, Miss Laura and Mr. Tim as they bring fun and mayhem to the library with ventriloquism, puppetry, music, magic, comedy and audience participation. Ages 2 and older. Groups must register.

Chuck Galey Presents Insights to the World of Illustration: 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Join children’s book author and illustrator Chuck Galey as he guides young readers through the process of creating picture books. Ages 6 to 11. Groups must register.

Storytime: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Storytimes are meant to be fun and nonstressful for children. Because children’s chronological ages do not always coincide with their emotional ages, parents may elect to place their child in a younger or older class.

  • Toddlertime is for children from walking through 2 years old. Sessions are informal and include short books, simple rhymes, songs and finger plays. Sessions last 20 to 25 minutes. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Preschool Storytime is for children about 3 to 4 years old. Sessions last 30 minutes, and a child may attend without an adult.
  • Storytime for ages 5 and older is for children who are able to sit still and listen to a longer story. Children attend without an adult.

Brown Bag Movies: 11:15 a.m. Wednesday. Book-based movies will be shown after Storytime. Bring lunch and a drink.

Shells are Fun: 2:30 p.m. June 12. Learn facts about shells and learn how to locate shells at the beach. Examples of different types and sizes of shells will be on display. Ages 6 to 11.

There also is a program for adults this summer. Register and read five books for a book bag and library bucks good toward late book fines and the library’s used book sale.

For information on library programs, visit