Guest Blogger

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As I write this, I’m contemplating the start of summer.  Wait, go back.  “What did she just write,” you ask?  August. You know; the start of summer?   For many of us working in Youth Services, June and July are the busiest time of year.  I’ve got three words for you: Summer. Reading. Program.  At my library, that includes both the traditional SRP plus 157 youth programs in two months. I’m sure most of you have equally crazy numbers.

Summer is an opportunity for public library youth departments to shine.  During the summer months, families are looking for affordable activities to fill their calendars.

Typically, public libraries beef up their programming offerings to meet this demand.  My library is no exception.  In addition to traditional storytimes, we offer crafts, book discussions, technology programs, literacy-based programs, concerts, performers, movies, dance parties, gardening programs, gaming, clubs, camps, and festivals.  Phew.

Collaborating with others such as local businesses and government agencies is one way to enhance program offerings.  My library has a strong relationship with our village. We partner year round with different programs.  This summer we co-sponsored a lunchtime family entertainment series that included concerts and other entertainers.  Another collaborative event was our Star Wars Movie Event.  The community band performed a concert of John Williams’ music, a local ice cream shop provided free ice cream for the first 250 kids, twelve members of the 501st Legion made a guest appearance, and we presented Star Wars: The Force Awakens on a giant screen in the Library’s back yard.  The Force was with us, and it was a hit with all ages.

star wars movie night cropped(1)
Photo courtesy of Algonquin Area Public Library

What types of programming did your library offer this summer?

  • Did you offer any tried-but-true favorites?
  • Were any programs new to you?
  • Did you offer collaborative programming in conjunction with other agencies?
  • Do you have innovative ideas to share?

I’m sure we’d all love to hear what our colleagues did for their summer reading programs.

May your August be sunny, relaxed, and fun-filled!


blue shirt
Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Today’s guest blogger is Alexa Newman. Alexa is a Youth Services Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library in Illinois, where she focuses on community programming.  Besides her regularly scheduled duties, Alexa created and runs the library’s annual drama camp, storytelling festival, and teaching garden.  In her spare time she loves to read, dabble in the arts, and putter in as many gardens as possible. Alexa is currently serving on the School-Age Programs and Service Committee and on the  AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. She is a former Chair of the Quick Lists Consulting Committee.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

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