Summer is over. But before I get out my cute new booties and pumpkin flavored everything, it’s time to reflect on what an awesome summer it was in the library.
The easiest way to evaluate the success of an initiative is through numbers and stats and pie charts, etc. While these are effective (and necessary) it’s not always the best way to boost staff morale or provide inspiration.
Our last Quarterly Youth Services Meeting was focused on the end of Summer Reading and the beginning of back to school. I was supposed to share Summer Reading results but, honesty, the last thing I wanted to do was rattle off numbers to everyone. So I did something… very serious.
Throughout the entire summer, staff had been sending in amazing pictures of displays and programs that really only the people in my office were seeing. I wanted to share them with everyone as well as lighten the mood of the end of Summer Reading. The result? Our First Annual Summer Reading Awards! Here are some of our winners:
Best Use of Ceiling – The Clason’s Point Library is known for going all out on decorating. You know that one house during the holidays where everyone stops to take pictures? That’s Clason’s Point. They turned their ceiling into Spiderman’s web. The whole library was covered- even some of the circulation desk!
Best Use of Action Figure – In the Village lives a library that comes up with the craziest ideas… and then actually finds a way to do them! For their Summer Reading Kickoff Block Party, the Hudson Park Library wanted a superhero action figure to deliver a bookmark to a recently sign-up kid by flying down from the library into the street. Yes, it really happened and yes it really worked (evidence in photo). Leave it to librarians to make anything work with a little bit of twine.
Best Representation of Staff – If you take the ferry to Staten Island and a train all the way to the end, you not only find a gorgeous Carnegie building but one of the best staff artists in the city. The Tottenville Library turned all of their staff members into superheroes- literally! This photo shows a huge display by their circulation desk with every staff member turned into a 3-D superhero. If you don’t want to be a part of summer Reading after looking at this then I don’t know what will.
Other awards included:
Best Eye-Pleasing Incentive Packet
Best Use of Bulletin Board
Best Staff Uniform
Every winner got a certificate and a round of woo’s and applause fro their peers. A pretty good way to wrap up Summer Reading if I do say so myself.
Anna Taylor is the Coordinator of Youth Educational Programming at the the New York Public Library. She is a member of the ALSC School Age Services and Program Committee and serves on NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. You may write her at email@example.com and check out some sweet monthly staff picks at NYPL.org.