SHIRLEY -- Kevin Sebastian is one of a select group of young people to receive Boston Bruins prizes for their outstanding participation in the Hazen Memorial Library's summer reading program.

When program sponsors the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), and the Massachusetts Library System, asked public librarians to make nominations, Kathleen Buretta Youth Services Librarian knew just the person.

"We have many, many wonderful young people in our program, but Kevin is an extraordinary reader and an avid Boston Bruins fan," said Buretta.

Kevin couldn't be happier. "This is really, really cool!" 'I can't believe it, thanks!"

The Bruins first teamed up with the MBLC and the Massachusetts Library System in 2009. The organizations work with libraries across the Commonwealth to make reading a part of summer fun for all ages. Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand and other Bruins players helped libraries develop Favorite Books of the Boston Bruins (available on, a recommended reads list that includes librarians' picks for the best hockey books. "The kids really enjoy picking up a book and seeing that it was recommended by one of the Bruins players. It inspires them to want to read it themselves," said Buretta.

"Summer reading is fun, but it's also an important part of students' academic success because it helps them avoid the summer slide," said James Lonergan, MBLC Director.


Kids who read just four books over the summer do better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.

In 2016, over 400,000 people participated in statewide summer reading programs in libraries across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts has offered statewide online summer reading programs since 2007. Participants register, write book reviews, set goals, and track their progress online.