Summer Reading and the School Librarian

Now, I know what you are thinking.  What does a school librarian know about summer reading?  My years in the public library taught me a thing or two, and I have an enormous amount of respect for children’s and YA librarians especially in the summertime.

As a school librarian, my thoughts of summer reading jump into gear the same day that the YMAs are announced.  I know that many of the books announced will end up on my summer reading lists.  Our families deserve fresh reading lists every summer, and the ALA awards are just one thing that inform these lists.

We try to balance our lists according to several factors which include curricular connections, titles that highlight diverse family make-ups, books across genres and formats, books that have a diversity in characters and setting.  We are looking for books that are both windows and mirrors for our students.  Unlike many schools, there is not an assignment that comes along with the list that me and my early childhood librarian curate each year.  We are simply looking for the best balanced list we can make.

I am interested in finding out how other schools and public libraries make their lists each year.


  1. Elisa

    I always organize my lists by format or type of book (picture books, comics & graphic novels, early readers, etc.) instead of strictly grade level. That way kids and parents can select “just right” choices for each child without worrying about if s/he is reading above or below “level.”

  2. Bill Martin

    Speaking of reading lists, I am a professor of education working on a best book guide for preschool to adult. The idea at the core of my book is to create a best book list aggregating or creating a composite many of the most noteworthy award and best book lists.
    I am looking for a book lover and an experienced children’s librarian to read and comment on my manuscript. It has been accepted by a publisher with the understanding that I correct some of my book descriptions. It will be ready for your review during the first week of May 2013 and I will need it back with suggested revisions by May 15th. I am able to pay a $100 stipend for your feedback. If you are interested, send me an email with a resume or description of your experience.

    Thank you and Happy Easter!

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