Blogger Liza Purdy

The Nuts and Bolts of Summer Reading 2022

Summer Reading 2022 is nearly here. I keep calling the months of April and May “Tax Season” for Youth Services Library administration. Goodness, it is a whirlwind getting everything set! Here’s what’s coming:

We decided to follow iRead’s theme this year, Read Beyond the Beaten Path. We’ve been having a blast with the camp and nature theme! Each of our branches is even getting it’s own mascot! 

Introducing the Old Town Newhall Blue Hedgehogs, the Valencia Purple Possums, and the Canyon Country Green Raccoons! Our City’s graphic designer created these guys from the mascots chosen by branch staff!

We are using Beanstack to track reading this year for the first time, so it has been a learning process getting that up and running.  We opted to have a hybrid program of paper and Beanstack for the Five and Under crowd. They like to get their hands on something tangible, so we’re making a reading trail, ala Candyland, that they can fill in daily. The rest of the age groups will be tracking their reading exclusively on Beanstack.

We decided to count days read instead of books or minutes read this summer. We hope to encourage our community to develop the habit of daily reading! This is also a way to lengthen the program. Little ones tended to finish our program very quickly when we were tracking books read. We hope they will read through the seven-week summer session with us this way!

While much of our programming will be indoors this summer, we are keeping our Library at the Park programs going! We created Library at the Park in response to the pandemic, and the public loved it! We love it too! Instead of hosting normal storytimes each Tuesday morning, all of our branch children’s librarians meet up at a different local park and host some sort of fun event. We are kicking off with a drum circle and Read to a Dog. We’ll have a new Trail Tales book one week, a nature scavenger hunt another, the fire department at another, and other programs including yoga, a local arts program that caters to children with special needs, and a stuffed animal party. At each of these park events, our local Youth Sports department will be on hand with a variety of outdoor games. We usually make a giant bubble tub as well. Always a hit!

Parachutes at the Park are fun! Photo by Liza Purdy.

We are hosting coordinated Craft Alongs at each branch that will serve everyone eighteen and under. Each week of our summer reading has a theme, and the teen and children’s department created crafts that fit the theme. I made a Spotify playlist that matches each theme. We’re hoping for a party atmosphere! Also, we’ll be serving lunch daily as part of our California Library grant funded Lunch at the Library program. That will have special programming weekly, as well as kid-tended garden and, of course, our library worms!

It’s going to be a busy one! I’m knee deep in contracts, final proofs for marketing, button making, prize book sorting, and decorating! I’m looking forward to June getting here so that the fun can really start!

What are your library’s plans for summer?

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