Date June 17, 2024
Media Contact

Brown University Library to host free summer reading events for local kids and families

In partnership with Providence’s libraries, the Brown series aims to create fun, educational summer experiences for kids, welcoming all ages for storytimes, hands-on STEM activities, tours and more.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Providence-area kids and families are invited to join Brown community members on campus this summer for a series of free educational events organized by the Brown University Library.

The events are part of the “Summer With your PVD Libraries” initiative led by the Providence Public Library and the Community Libraries of Providence. For the program’s second year, Brown’s library joins with 11 other libraries in Providence to curate a vibrant mix of events, performances and activities, all designed to encourage young readers to explore new corners of the city and discover the joy of reading in a fun, engaging way.

Kelly Clifton, Brown’s head of library community engagement, said the summer events present new opportunities for the University to welcome community members to campus.

“At Brown, one of our goals is to open our campus to community members and showcase the spaces they can access,” Clifton said. “As one of the libraries in this summer program, we hope to build a bridge and open Brown’s beautiful green spaces to the community, reminding everyone they’re welcome, while also introducing young minds to the concept of college in a way that’s accessible and fun.”

Storytime sessions with appearances from Brown’s mascot, Bruno the Bear, and Elvy, the Department of Public Safety’s comfort dog, are among a variety of events planned throughout the summer. Beyond storytimes, families can embark on guided tours of Brown’s public art collection, and visit the historic Ladd Observatory and the Plant Environmental Center, a rooftop conservatory featuring diverse plant life.

All events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule, visit A few highlights of the summer program are also featured below.

Kickoff Event: “Where Does Water Go?”: Saturday, June 22

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Providence Public Library
150 Empire St.

The Providence Public Library will host the official launch of the summer program, featuring Brown students who will lead "Where Does Water Go?", a hands-on activity for kids to explore how water interacts with its environment and its potential impact on issues like flooding.

Storytime with Elvy: Monday, June 24

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Brown University Quiet Green
Intersection of College Street and Prospect Street

Elvy and Campus Police Officer Dustin Coleman from Brown's Department of Public Safety will share stories about working dogs and introduce attendees to Elvy, a labrador retriever and Brown’s first service dog.

Public Art Tour: Saturday: July 6

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Bronze Bruno Statue
79 Waterman St.

The Brown Arts Institute will offer a curated tour of Brown's public art collection, led by Brown students. The tour will highlight six selected works from over 30 public art pieces on campus.

Storytime with Bruno: Saturday, July 13

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Ittleson Quad
235 Hope St.

Brown Athletics will host a storytime session with Bruno, Brown's beloved bear mascot. 

Mindfulness Storytime: Thursday, July 18

3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Brown University Quiet Green
Intersection of College Street and Prospect Street

Staff from Brown University’s Counseling and Psychological Services will present a mindfulness storytime session to help children explore emotions and mental health through stories and activities.

Visit the Ladd Observatory: Tuesday, July 30

9 a.m.– 10:30 a.m.
Ladd Observatory
210 Doyle Ave.

Families will have the opportunity to explore the 19th-century telescope at Ladd Observatory, followed by a space-themed storytime.

Visit the Plant Environmental Center: Saturday, August 17

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
85 Waterman St.

The rooftop conservatory will be open for a tour, showcasing a variety of plant families. Following the tour, kids can create art using pressed plants and flowers.