The Two Harbors and Silver Bay public libraries' winter reading programs are underway. The theme of the programs is "Curl Up with a Good Book" and both offer incentives for reading books from January to March 1.

Two Harbors takes to minutes

At the Two Harbors Public Library, the emphasis of the winter reading program for children and teens is on reading for lengths of time.

For every 100 minutes read and recorded, children and teens will place their names into drawings for prizes. The youth program has prize packs and incentives along the way, such as hot cocoa packets, tote bags, flashlights and such. If a child doesn't want a smaller prize, then can instead choose to donate $0.25 to a STEM kit the Friends of the Library is building with Gooseberry Falls naturalists.

Teens who read over 1,000 minutes will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. This is a change from how the program has run in the past, as the teen program used to be based on number of books read.

Library assistant Nicole Anderson explained the reason for the change.

"We're trying it out since sometimes the minute to book ratio can be off," she said. "Teens can read a manga in 30 minutes, but another teen, like one teen last year, could read 'War and Peace' and they'd both count as one book. So we're trying to make it more fair."

Even adults can get in on the reading log and prize action, though the focus is on number of books read for adults. Adults are also required to fill out short book reviews which are then posted on the shelf ends for others to see.

Why organize these reading log programs?

"It's a chance to get rewarded for reading, which can be really fun," Anderson said. "It's an opportunity to get everyone excited about reading."

The library will also host several programs which go along with the theme of animals and curling up with good book. The first was a stuffed animal sleepover on Jan. 10. The next two will be led by Gooseberry Falls naturalists are "Animals in Winter," from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, and "Tracks-A-Lot" at 6 p.m. Feb. 20.

Silver Bay programs for children on Fridays

In Silver Bay, the winter reading program runs from Jan. 14 to March 1 and has a program heavy schedule.

"The great thing about the winter reading program is that it's a chance for children to build up their literacy skills while earning incentives," librarian Julie Billings said. "And it coincides with 'I Love to Read' month in the schools, which is a great boost."

The Silver Bay public library will host science and craft focused programs every Friday at 1 p.m. through the winter program. These include:

• Science exploration, Jan. 18;

• Sled dogs stories and crafts, Jan. 25;

• S'mores and hot chocolate and outside activities, Feb. 1;

• Valentine card creation, Feb. 8;

• Puzzle exchange, Feb. 15;

• Winter crafts, Feb. 22;

• Dr. Seuss birthday party, Mar. 1.

For more information on the winter reading programs, visit one of the libraries or visit twoharborspubliclibrary.com or silverbaynews.blogspot.com.