The month of August is a hybrid of sorts as we transition from our summer reading program to the traditional activities planned for the new school year. When August 1st rolls around, do you breathe a sigh of satisfaction after the completion of your successful summer reading club, or do you still have weeks and weeks left of the summer rush before the children return to school? What does your library do with August?
To Continue Summer Reading or to Conclude Summer Reading: That is the Question
In years past, our summer reading program ended on July 31st. While June and July are much busier months in terms of the foot traffic we receive, there are still weeks left to most children’s summer vacation. This year we extended our summer reading club to August 15th to allow children and their families more time to participate in our reading program and to collect their prizes. What is your last day to conclude your summer club?
Less Programs, More Planning
Our weekly scheduled story times take a break after July 31st until the 1st of September. While we do temporarily discontinue our weekly story times, we offer the occasional preschool special, school-age program, or teen club to bring people into our libraries. With more flexibility in scheduling due to less programming, staffing the desks becomes easier even with staff members on vacation. We also focus our attention on our fall programming sessions, so we are able to hit the ground running when our story times resume and our special programs increase. Is your August full of story times and outreach visits, or do you completely break from programming to best prepare for the fall?
It may be close to impossible to take training or make assessment a priority during those busy summer reading club months. August is a time for renewal in terms of staffers’ professional development and is an opportunity for many of us to take in-person training, webinars, or self-paced study. It’s a necessary step for us to consider how to best enhance our own career development and also to assess the direction of our children’s libraries. Is August a traditional training month for you, or do you focus on children’s services trainings during another time of the year?
Expanding the Vision
August is a time to recharge, to assess our services, and to plan for the fall ahead of us. It’s an opportunity for us to consider major system initiatives and how to best streamline our efforts. We are now working on our plan to partner with other county agencies through the Eleven Days of Love Drive for pet-supply donations. We will include pet-themed elements in our programming as part of this collaboration. Are there any programs or services at your library that you will implement in the future that you plan now before the kids return to school?
Within our individual libraries throughout the country, there is tremendous variation with our involvement in summer reading clubs and children’s programs during the month of August. In your library system, August may provide the time needed to assess, evaluate, and focus on youth services training, or it may be a major programming month with a summer reading finale still on the horizon. Please share how you address programs, services, and training at your library during the month of August. Let’s begin a conversation in the comments below!