By Kane Tsay

The sun is out, the surf is up, and summer is officially on in Santa Monica. Of course, that means it’s time to head to the beach where your friendly neighborhood librarians from Santa Monica Public Library will once again be there to meet you at this year’s edition of SMPL at the Beach. Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response last summer, we’ll be bringing everything you love about the library (and more!) back to the beach at our summer series of “pop-up” libraries.

Need some shade? We’ve got umbrellas and chairs for you to kick back with at our Surfside Reading Lounge. Don’t want to get sand on your phone or tablet? We’ll be bringing a specially curated selection of cool beach reads for you to check out, no library card necessary. However, if you still want to use your fancy mobile device, we can also show you how you can use your library account to get the latest e-books, e-magazines, and streaming media.

And how about stuff for the kids? In addition to our extremely popular collection of kids’ beach reads, our local family-favorite Seaside Story Time will be held at each pop-up to delight kids of all ages (show up early for a good spot, as Story Time fills up fast). Each story time will be followed by a fun, sunny, beach-themed craft, like lei making and tie-dye.

Engaging educational programs are also a significant part of what we do at SMPL, and we wouldn’t dream of leaving them indoors. Our friends from the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium/Heal the Bay will be back with their interactive show-and-tell, where you’ll get to see and touch cool things like a giant whale rib or shark’s jaw. We’ve also scheduled a beach bird walk with the Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society. Or perhaps you’d like to take a lesson in the ukulele and impress your friends at your next beach bonfire hootenanny.

To encourage you to keep your body as healthy as your mind, we’ll have a free Tai Chi lesson. And for working your core and getting your groove on (or just plain having fun), our expert hula hoop instructor will be there to show you some cool new tricks, whether you’re a hula hoop beginner or already a slick hula hoop showoff.

Last but not least, we’ve got some awesome giveaways. At our first stop of the summer, the first 50 visitors went home with a limited edition full-size SMPL at Beach towel. What might we give away next? You’ll have to come down and find out! We’ll be out there on the sand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Saturday, July 23 at Dorothy Green Park, where Ocean Park Boulevard ends

Monday, Aug. 15 at Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway

Saturday, Aug. 27 at Dorothy Green Park, where Ocean Park Boulevard ends

Saturday, Sept. 10 at Dorothy Green Park, where Ocean Park Boulevard ends

We can’t wait to be out there with you having fun in the warm California sun. For more information, including individual day schedules, check out