Although the weather may still be chilly in some places (it’s snowing outside as I type), we as children’s librarians are beginning to turn our attention to the summer. Maybe you’re a school librarian, looking forward to a break in the daily chaos of your media center. Or if you are a public librarian, you are trying to gather your strength, creativity, and courage for Summer Reading.
As for me, I’m looking forward to a meeting of all the children’s librarians in our large, urban library system. We exchange ideas for simple and imaginative programming. We find out what prizes we will give out (Free Library of Philadelphia-branded lanyards, we hope!) and brainstorm about the best ways to incentivize reading success. We exchange advice for approaching local businesses for donations of snacks, craft supplies, or money. But most of all, we give each other strength for the upcoming, rewarding and truly exhausting work ahead.
And, off the clock of course, we plan Happy Hours, strategically spaced throughout the hectic, thirsty summer!
Oh, and those Summer Reading lists. Keep your eyes open for an ALSC Summer Reading list, co-created by the Quicklists Committee and the School-Age Programs and Services Committee as part of the 2013 Carnegie-Whitney Grant awarded to ALSC. It will be available on the ALSC site, and downloadable with space to add your library’s particular Summer Reading information.
How do you prepare for Summer Reading? Please share your ideas below.
Sarah Stippich is a Children’s Librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Chair of ALSC’s School-Age Programs and Services Committee. The committee also includes Claire Moore, Elizabeth Rosania, Kristine Springer, Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Marge Loch-Wouters, Patricia Clingman, Sarah Abercrombie, and Karen Choy.
Our system has a summer reading kick-off program every February, where we learn about the theme, share ideas, and are entertained by some of the potential program talent. Now the children’s librarian and I (assistant librarian) are brainstorming for storytime themes and crafts, special events, and decorations. We print everything and add it to a file which we will sort through when we finalize our plans in a few weeks.
Thanks for sharing, Amy! And yes, preparation is key. I’m organizing my calendar and getting my spiel ready for the camps who have already started calling for appointments. (AH!)