Blogger Abby Johnson

‘Tis the Season for Winter Reading

Photo taken by Abby Johnson, NAFCPL

My library is offering its first Winter Reading Club for teens and kids this winter! We borrowed heavily from Angie Manfredi’s Winter Reading program at the Los Alamos County Library System and we’re really excited to try it out!

For us, Winter Reading differs significantly from the Summer Reading Club because, where in summer we’re truly trying to REACH ALL THE CHILDREN! and GET EVERYONE TO READ!, in winter our goal is to get people to visit the library and discover the resources we have for them here. In summer, we’re trying to help bridge that gap and help kids keep up their reading skills. In winter, they’ll be in school most of the time our program is going on, so we’re trying to give them something interesting to do during those cold winter months, and we’re inviting them to explore their library.

What we really liked about the program Angie developed is that it helps us showcase some of the wonderful books that patrons may not know we have. Picture book biographies! Award winners! And on each BINGO card, they can fill a square by getting a suggestion from a librarian (come use us for reader’s advisory!).

We are really keeping it simple this first year. Kids get a BINGO sheet (like in Angie’s program – really, go check it out). For their first BINGO, they get their choice of scratch and sniff bookmark (we have candy canes, popcorn, and cookies) and they get to put their name on a mitten and add it to our bulletin board. If they want to keep going, they can earn another bookmark by filling in all the squares. Kids and teens can also earn “fine bucks” for participating in the Winter Reading Club so they can unblock cards if they’ve not been able to use them because of fines.

I really want to emphasize to families that the actual “prize” is having something to do and getting to know your library. We’ll see how it goes. If we feel that we need to add additional incentives next year, we can. Our teen program (developed by our teen librarian) is also a BINGO sheet, but has some additional prize drawings to help get those busy teens in the door.

Photo taken by Abby Johnson, NAFCPL

To help folks find some of the categories on our BINGO sheet, we’ve created some displays like the shelves under our bulletin board, which feature Coretta Scott King winners and honor books and Pura Belpré winners and honor books.

Do you offer a Winter Reading Club? Any tips for this Winter Reading newbie?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN


  1. Kathykleckner

    That wall is beautiful!

  2. Brytani

    When I grow up, I want to be Abby. I’m keeping this idea for next year.

  3. Jennifer

    I adapted Angie’s idea to something a little different for us

    I’m hoping to get at least 50 kids participating this first year, and I’ve already got close to that number who have taken reading challenges, although only a couple have returned them.

    1. Abby

      Oh, I love what you guys are doing, Jennifer. I like the idea of structuring different challenges so that kids can follow their interests! We’ve got about 70 signed up so far, but only a handful have completed their BINGO yet. We’ve still got lots of time, though, and the kids are still in school, so I’m hoping to have an influx over Winter Break.

  4. Pingback: ‘Tis the Season (Again!) for Winter Reading Club | ALSC Blog

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