Blogger Lisa Taylor

Do you have (insert old book title here)?

Q: “Do you have Go Ask Alice?”
A: “Yes, 100 copies and they’re all checked out or “missing.”

Q: “Do you have Fahrenheit 451?”
A: “Yes, 200 copies and they’re all checked out. Can you read Spanish? I have the Spanish edition checked in.”

Q: “Do you have (insert 1960s era Syd Hoff book here)?”
A: “Sorry, no.”

Q: “Do you have George Washington’s Socks?” All 500 kids in my school need to read it.
A: “Um, I think we may have a problem.”

Okay, so I exaggerate (but not much!). I think you get the idea.  It’s that wild and wonderful time called “Summer Reading,” and though I’ll be asked the same questions over and over throughout the summer, I cheerfully do my best to help.   I’m thankful that the kids have come through our doors and I don’t want to send them away empty-handed, but sometimes a promise of a “hold” is all I can offer.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, resolve to try the following ideas for next year:

  • Make friends with the curriculum coordinator or ILA supervisor (or whatever they’re called in your neck of the woods) in your local school.  If the district’s summer reading lists are hopelessly outdated, or you simply do not have the books they need, tell them. In the past, I’ve had success working with local schools to update required summer reading lists, or at the very least, making them aware of gaps that I cannot not fill.
  • If your library has a collections department, let them know which books are always in high demand.  Perhaps a few extra copies can be purchased.
  • Scour your donations for commonly asked summer reading titles and hoard them until next summer.  It may not help your circulation stats, but in a pinch, if you can give a child a free book that’s on his list but not your shelves, you’ll earn good will (and good karma).

If all else fails, keep your spirits up, place that hold, and remember that you were once a kid,  and probably a procrastinator too! Gotta’ love ’em!

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