The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association kicks off its 2008 summer reading program, Wild Reads at Your Library, with a lively performance by Bill Ross at the agricultural hall in West Tisbury at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 5.

Mr. Ross, of Easthampton, has been performing as a professional juggler and clown since 1984. He appeared a number of years ago at the Vineyard schools as the Tick Man, using his trademark humor to teach tick bite prevention.

Mr. Ross’s show this summer, entitled Book ’Em!, has been developed especially for libraries and young readers. Says the artist: “Through juggling, unicycling, movement and storytelling, I encourage the exploration of books of all kinds that tell us tales of high adventure; books that teach us how to accomplish a task or research a topic; and books that tickle our funny bones with silly poetry and word play. My goals are modest — to transform each and every audience into a zealous mob of bibliophiles, lovers of language, creative thinkers and inspired learners.”

Tickets to this season-opening event will be $3 at the door. After Mr. Ross’s show, which lasts about an hour, a $1 face-painting booth will be open.

Each of the Island public libraries is planning programs this summer inspired by the theme of Wild Reads, which was chosen by the state association this year to encourage reading on the part of young people. One of the shared programs will be a visit from a character from the famous Maurice Sendak Book, Where the Wild Things Are, to the libraries this summer. For specific calendars of events, check with your local library.