Blogger Abby Johnson

Valuing Choice This Summer

One of the activities we’re encouraging kids to do this summer is add to our Kids’ Choice book display.

Photo by Abby Johnson
Photo by Abby Johnson

Not only is this a fun way to get kids involved with the library, but it’s a great way to show kids that we value THEIR choices for summer reading.

Last week, Sarah Bean Thompson of the blog Green Bean Teen Queen posted about one of the toughest parts of the Summer Reading Club: seeing patrons devaluing the reading choices their kids are making this summer. Summer is a great time for kids to read what’s FUN for them, and it’s hard to see some adults telling kids that they need to read “at their level” or to put down the graphic novel and pick up “a real book”.

If you see this at your library, you may want to keep some elevator pitches in your back pocket. Let adults know that reading books that are on the easy side is a great way to increase fluency in reading. Graphic novels can be great for struggling readers since they have lots of illustrations to support the text. And when kids have FUN reading, they will want to KEEP READING, which is the best way for kids to become great readers.

Photo by Abby Johnson
Photo by Abby Johnson

Here’s a close-up of our display signage and the bookmark we made for kids to fill out when they want to add to our display by recommending a book. We’re starting out slowly – I filled up the display with our state book award winners and books that I know are popular with our kids so that we’d have something up on the display. As kids I know are coming in or as kids interact with me at the reference desk, I’m asking them to recommend a book if they would like to. Kids love to help and they love to share great books they have enjoyed, so I hope this will be a popular activity at our library all summer long!

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

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