Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge has become an annual tradition in libraries since first launching in 1999. Over 700,000 children take part from across the UK; developing reading skills, reading for pleasure and visiting their local libraries.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge is all about enjoying reading throughout the summer holidays. Adults can register a child to take part and request a Challenge Pack. The pack contains stickers and other goodies to reward your child every time they complete a reading task throughout the summer!

Click on the links to go straight to:

Join the Summer Reading Challenge Gadgeteers from Saturday 9th July until Saturday 10th September and discover the fantastic science and innovation that is all around us.

Watch our short video to find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge.

It’s free to take part!

  • You just need to be a member of Swindon Libraries to register for the Challenge. It’s free and easy to become a library member. You can go to any of Swindon’s 13 libraries or join online.
  • Register for the Summer Reading Challenge at any Swindon Library from 9th of July – 10th September.
  • Collect your free pack of goodies for a fun summer of reading! (while stocks last)

About the Challenge:

  • Your Challenge is to complete 6 reads!*
  • Each time you complete a read, write down your six reads in your free Challenge folder and give them a star rating.
  • Reward yourself by adding one of the stickers to your Challenge folder.

Completing the Challenge:

Once you have completed your 6 reads*, bring your folder into any Swindon Library to show a member of staff and receive your certificate and wooden medal! 

*What counts as 6 reads?

The Summer Reading Challenge is all about loving reading and reading what you love. Lots of things count towards your 6 reads – and you can borrow them for free from Swindon Libraries:

  • Books – borrow from any of our 13 libraries and search for titles here
  • Audiobooks  – borrow from any of our 13 libraries and search for titles here
  • EBooks – info here on how to download them
  • eComics – info here on how to download them
  • eMagazines – info here on how to download them
  • eNewspapers – info here on how to download them
  • eAudiobooks – info here on how to download them

What counts as a read?

  • If you choose a book that is particularly long or challenging for you, this can count as more than one read.
  • Someone else reading to you.
  • Reading a book to a younger brother/sister/friend.

Not sure what to read?

Ask a member of our friendly and very knowledgeable staff for suggestions.

Fines and Late Books

We are suspending children’s fines until the Challenge ends on Saturday September 10


For families who have a child with special educational needs, Swindon Stories have worked alongside Swindon SEND Families Voice to create a useful leaflet promoting alternative ways of participating with the Summer Reading Challenge.

These activities are a great opportunity for your child to learn through their hands and touch, and get used to hearing your voice.

When you begin, make sure to listen carefully and give your child time to communicate. Try to make sure there is light on your face and that your faces are on the same level – your child will love to see your expression!

Collect a resource at any of our libraries.


If your child feels like they’re too old for stickers and medals, our Young Adult’s Summer Bingo Challenge is running at the same time.

Suitable for 12-19 years, find out more here.


To celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, Swindon Libraries are holding a number of free activity sessions throughout August.

These will be drop-in sessions and will run from 10am – 1pm, so call in and take part in some fun craft activities and choose some new books. If you have been a super-fast reader this year and already completed the Summer Reading challenge, you could even collect your medal and certificate at the same time!

Confirmed dates for core libraries:

  • Thursday 18 August – Park Library, Cavendish Square, SN3 2LZ
  • Friday 19 August – Central Library, Regent Circus, SN1 1QG
  • Monday 22 August – West Swindon Library, Link Centre, SN5 7DL
  • Tuesday 23 August – Highworth Library, Brewery Street, SN6 7AJ
  • Wednesday 24 August – North Swindon Library, Orbital Retail Park, SN25 4AN

Dates of activity sessions at community libraries will be confirmed through their own contact pages.


To support children with SEND to engage with the Summer Reading Challenge, Swindon Libraries, with support from Swindon Stories, are running a free, SEND-specific Interactive Storyteller event.

Merry-go-round storytelling are delivering a specific, high energy, interactive storytelling session, specially designed to engage children and young people with SEND and the whole family. Lots of participation, sensory focus, and lots of fun!

Twenty child places are available and must be booked through our ticket link. Tickets will be available to book from 8pm, Tuesday 2nd August. Tickets only need to be booked for each child attending as parents/carers are included. If you book a ticket and are unable to attend, please contact us so we can offer the place to another family.

Doors open at 10am for the show to start at 10.30am. The show will be approximately one hour. The library will be closed during the performance.

Refreshments of tea and coffee, squash and biscuits will be available before and after. We encourage families to socialise with each other and library staff, and find out more about relevant library services and the Summer Reading Challenge.

West Swindon Library is wheelchair accessible, has a disabled toilet and there is plenty of free parking including blue badge bays adjacent. West Swindon Asda and The Link Centre have Changing Places toilet facilities.