Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

In a SRP slump? YOU CAN DO THIS!

It’s July and you’re tired. We understand. Summer Reading is a marathon and you’re in the middle of a never-ending parade of needy patron, hot days, and endless questions. The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee is here with some friendly advice to make it through the summer and end on a high note.

Anne Price, Children’s Librarian, North Platte Public Library (Nebraska)

“Even monkeys fall out of trees.” A former colleague of mine used this translation of a Japanese proverb when things went awry. No matter if it’s your first Summer Reading or your 100th even the most seasoned program planner has hiccups. Trying new logging methods or activities to keep your program fresh and interesting will sometimes not yield the desired result. Remember, it’s not a reflection on you as a professional. See if you can get feedback from colleagues or your community to use as you move forward.

Ana-Elba Pavon, Semi-retired , San Francisco Bay Area

“Breathe!  It is almost over.  You have prepared for this all year long and now it is here.  You got this!  Make sure to take time for yourself while working. This is particularly important on those long and busy days.”

Alex Aspiazu, Former Children’s Librarian at DC Public Library

“Remember that it really is so easy to delight children. You don’t have to always design complicated programs with multiple agenda items, especially when you have so much else to do for summer reading: just let them engage with the library through fun activities that incidentally also clean out your supply closet. Three Ideas:

  1. Build-A-Monster: Dump all the feathers, googly eyes, beads, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, sequins, spools that you’ve accrued over the years in a pile and see what emerges from the imagination.
  2. Outdoor Art Party: The messier the better: paint, clay, watercolors, chalk. The youngest kids can entertain themselves for hours painting on the pavement with water and a paintbrush.
  3. Dance Party! Set up some fun lights and music and blow up a bunch of balloons. Use a theme if you want to, but you don’t need one. If you’re having fun, they’ll have fun! 

Sarah Jo Zaharako, Youth Services Librarian , Wilmette Public Library (IL)

“Channel your childhood self. Remember going to the library to log your reading? Remember how cool those summer decorations were and how you got to tell the librarian all about your favorite book? Embracing your childhood self can help remind you to play. Get into your theme, enjoy wearing those summer reading tees everyday, and get on level with the kids. They think you have it made. “

Lola Edwards Gomez, MLS

“Libraries tend to spend a large part of their budgets on hiring performers and outside entertainment for their Summer Programming. Consider putting on inexpensive programs that are low or no cost to the library.  For example, a fairy golf or a mini-miniature golf course created by participants. The cost to put on this program is less than $50.  Be sure to click on the link for additional ideas on low budget programming.”

Emily Mroczek- Bayci Youth Services Librarian Arlington Heights Memorial Library (Illinois)

“Take time for fun! Get together with coworkers after work, bring in a snack, find a fun reading challenge to do. Don’t forget to put the FUN for staff back in summer reading- try to do something to push yourself and your team through the final stretch. YOU’VE GOT THIS!”

This was a group post, written by members of the Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee. This post addresses the ALSC Competencies Commitment to Client Group and Professionalism.

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