Take the County Library’s Summer Challenge

The official season is just beginning, but summer is in full swing at San Diego County Library. County residents of all ages are encouraged to sign up for the Summer Challenge, which allows participants to earn prizes for completing activities. Qualifying activities include reading, attending a library program, and using one of the library’s databases. You can sign up online, or at any County Library branch or bookmobile.

The theme of this year’s Summer Challenge is Read, Learn, Create, and all 33 County Library branches are hosting fun activities through August 31 to celebrate.

“Even though the program is open to County residents of all ages, the primary goal of the Summer Challenge is to encourage kids and teens to read during their long break from school,” said Jodi dela Pena, San Diego County Library’s Youth Services Manager. “Research shows that reading during the summer prevents what’s called ‘the summer slide,’ the tendency for students to lose some of the achievements they gained during the school year.”

While visiting the library is always fun, those interested in participating in the Summer Challenge don’t even have to set foot inside a brick-and-mortar branch to join in the fun. If you do not have a library card, you can sign up for an instant digital card, allowing you access to the library’s collection of 125,000 e-books and audiobooks from the comfort of your home. All you need is a cell phone number with a billing ZIP code in San Diego County.

To sweeten the deal, the library is offering select e-book titles without wait times this summer. Three different bestsellers will be available each week: one for children, one for teens, and one for adults. Eligible titles will change every Monday through August and are checked out to borrowers for 14 days. The library’s e-collection is available via the library’s online Overdrive platform, or by downloading the Libby app and connecting to San Diego County Library.

Fighting Hunger

In addition to serving up a ton of fun activities this summer, one-third of the County’s 33 libraries will also serve lunch to children and teens while school is out. The Lunch at the Library program is part of a countywide effort. The program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to ensure children 18 and younger do not go hungry during the summer months, when school meals are not available.

“Last summer, our branches served more than 20,000 meals at 10 sites,” said dela Pena. “We added an 11th location this year, so we expect to exceed that number and provide lunches to even more youths this summer.”

Participating Lunch at the Library locations are Borrego Springs, Casa de Oro, El Cajon, Jacumba, Julian, Lincoln Acres, Potrero, Ramona, Spring Valley, Valley Center and Vista.

For branch locations and a complete list of summer library events, visit

Katie Cadiao is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact