Speaking for public children’s and teen librarians all over the country: we’re exhausted. It’s been a long summer filled with programs, unexpected visits from day camps, placing holds on Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Pinkalicious, unattended kids spending the entire day on the computer, and (of course) Summer Reading Club.
My library’s Summer Reading Club ended on Saturday. The grand prize winners have been drawn and we’ve taken down our decorations. Of course, we’ll still accept reading logs and give out coupons and prizes while supplies last. I know some libraries are still going strong, but our public schools start back on August 15, so this is the perfect time for me to look back at what a summer we’ve had.
My library participated in the Collaborative Summer Library Program and used the theme One World, Many Stories. I am not one to stick hard and fast to a theme at the expense of doing the programs or activities we want to do, but I liked this theme because it pushed us to do some different kinds of programming. We held book chats on books set in different countries, encouraged kids to read books set around the world, hosted an international storyteller and an African drumming workshop, and held a whole series of toddler storytimes on visiting other countries. Of course, we had plenty of off-theme programs, too, like Life-Sized Candy Land, a Harry Potter party, and our Dragon Slayers Fantasy Book Club.
This year, we implemented a pre-readers’ program for the first time and people really responded to it. Having a special club for pre-readers really helped us design a program that would encourage early literacy. We didn’t specify ages, but next year I think we’ll limit it to kids 2 years and under because I think they seemed to get the most out of it. (Of course, our limits will be suggestions – we always aim to be flexible!)
In June, I posted about our Reading Around the World bulletin board and I’m happy to announce that it was a success! Here’s how our bulletin board looks at the end of the summer:
Even though we just finished, I’m already thinking about what we want to change for next year. For the past couple of years, we’ve counted the number of books or pages read and next year I’d like to try out measuring time spent reading instead. I’m also going to figure out something to make it easier for our local daycares and summer camps to participate. Although it may seem like it’s too early to be thinking about it, I like to meet with my staff in August and jot down notes for next year about what we liked and what we didn’t like. That way, when we really start planning we’ll have some notes to start with.
This year, I blogged weekly about our Summer Reading Club and a lot of nice folks joined me in blogging about Summer Reading, so I wanted to collect all the links together. I love seeing what other libraries are doing! Check out Summer Reading posts from:
Drea at Book Blather
Eva at Eva’s Book Addiction
Kelly at Field Acquisitions
Julie at Hi Miss Julie!
Jennifer at Jean Little Library
Jessica at Musings from a Library Lady
Jen at NerdGirlBlogging
Katie at Read What You Know
Andrea at rovingfiddlehead kidlit
Anne at so tomorrow
Marge at Tiny Tips for Library Fun
Mollie at What Happens in Storytime
So, how did/is your Summer Reading Club go(ing) this year?
— Abby Johnson, Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN