Putt-putt at the library??

Hannibal Free Public Library

Most of us associate the library as a quiet refuge where a sound above a whisper will earn you a shush from the librarian.

In Hannibal, librarians are letting their hair down and they want kids to do the same. In fact, they are setting up a mini-golf course along with movies and hot dogs to kick off teen summer events on May 25.

We want to remind teens that we have a lot for them at the library, Assistant Librarian Claire Ewersmann said. We have stuff for little kids, as always, but the library isn't just for small children and picture books.

The Hannibal Free Public Library is trying to entice more teenagers to browse the aisles this summer. It's not a problem drawing little guys to the library. More than 500 kids sign up for the summer reading program where they read two hours a week and earn prizes. Conversely, only about 50 teenagers participate in the summer reading program.

After third or fourth grade, we start losing children, Ewersmann said.

The teen program targets kids in 6th grade through seniors. In addition to special events, the library will host Teen Night every Tuesday, where the kids can play games, watch movies, make slime, eat pizza, and hopefully, check out books.

It's not as if a child needs to bury his nose in a book all summer long. Studies show reading four books over the summer break will help tremendously. They'll retain more of their school work and require less review at the start of the academic year. That may not be enough motivation for a child, but it might encourage parents to take their kids to the library.

Click here for a complete list of summer programs for kids, teenagers and adults at the Hannibal Library.