Now that most summer reading programs are in full swing: let’s talk about prizes. There’s many aspects of this conversation, some of which have been focused on before: accessibility, going prizeless, outcome based prizes, etc. etc. Today I want to focus on experience or interactive based prizes- where finishers don’t get an item but instead get to “do something” in the library. (Another version of “experience” prizes is a ticket or pass to a local museum, a free party, a personalized bookplate etc.)
Some examples of “experience or interactive prizes” I’ve seen include
- Tossing a nerf ball into a basketball hoop
- Putting stickers on a collaborative mosaic
- Voting in a fun election, where winners are posted weekly
- Spinning Wheel with a challenge instead of a prize
- Weighing the amount of books you read
- Participants adding their names to a collaborative bookshelf or collage
My library was veering in the direction of these prizes, before COVID-19 hit and made them much harder to implement. Now, I think it can be a good way to get people back in the library. They also can be a good alternative for people who don’t need physical prizes or can’t afford coupons. Many people missed the physical prizes, but we did offer a mix of physical prizes and experience prizes depending on the level.
Has your library done experiences or activities instead of actual prizes? Let us know what you’ve done in the comments.
This post addresses the ALSC Competency: Commitment to Client Group.