When my role was a Children’s Librarian, I was working at my first branch in the inner city inNew York. Children and their caregivers would often come to the library with long reading listshoping that we had anything on their list at the branch. We often would ask the students comingin during the summer if we could make a copy of their summer reading list. We did so due toeach school and potentially each grade/class had a different summer reading list. What aburden to caregivers to try to locate several titles? During my second summer, I had a thoughtbubble moment. I thought, “Why isn’t the public library working with our public schools increating a summer reading list?” Public libraries and schools are natural partners in creating andpromoting summer reading and reading lists. Libraries offer a wealth of resources for childrenand their caregivers, including books, summer programs, summer themed events andincentives….
In 2015, I was working as a Children’s Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). I had to produce and present a summer reading program with iPads for school age kids. This was part of a pilot program that summer to introduce children, especially inner city children, to iPads as a way to decrease the digital divide. STEM programming on an iPad? I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even own a smart phone!
Emotions are high, and energy is low. Chocolate overflows on every youth services workroom counter. As soon as we hand out the last incentive, relief roars across the children’s floor. Summer was great. Summer is done. Now it is time to buckle down, plan for the slower pace of fall, and think about plans for next year. Yes. That’s right. We get to do this all again. How will you evaluate this summer’s learning program and plan for next year’s while you are still recuperating from the summer sprint?
Spring is in the air here in Washington, D.C. and I find myself thinking ahead to the upcoming summer months. We will be starting our annual Summer Reading Challenge soon. At my library, this is geared towards people of all ages though it is more popular with the children. In past years, we have had game boards with different activities for each age range including our youngest patrons ages birth to five. Some of these activities are as simple as reciting your ABC’s. Older preschoolers have had the opportunity to practice writing. These activities seem geared towards early literacy which we know is very important for emerging readers. In addition, we often have special guest performers who get the children further excited. Past visitors have included science programs as well as storytellers. We also have had the Washington Nationals, our local baseball team, as one of our sponsors. This has…
Do you need something to use as a fun prize for a scavenger hunt? Do you want an interactive display for your summer program? Are you looking for something fun for the kids to use for their reading records? Use STICKERS! They are one of the most straightforward and budget-friendly things out there.
The 2023 ALSC Summer Reading Lists are here! Compiled by the Quicklists Consulting Committee, the lists are full of engaging and award-winning book titles to keep children reading throughout the summer. For young digital media fans, the committee also recommends a range of apps, podcasts, and websites to help kids discover and develop their interests. This year’s lists have a clean, straightforward design, making them easy to download and print for the children, parents, and caregivers in your library and community. Find the FREE lists on the ALSC website. More reading lists These annual summer favorites are the newest addition to ALSC’s recommended reading resources, which also include the Día and Graphic Novels booklists. The 2023 Dia lists feature lots of engaging stories that represent and celebrate diverse cultures and backgrounds. Revised in 2022, the Graphic Novels lists include titles that have popular appeal and are well-reviewed.
May is Bike Month, so it’s a great time to tune up your bike and your library’s bike-related programming. Between circulating bikes, riding book bikes to outreach events, and offering bike repair workshops or stations, opportunities abound for connecting communities with alternative transportation. Libraries also offer books, of course! These resources and activities can help build a strong cycling community in Bike Month and beyond.
Summer Reading Crunch Time! By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what your SRP program for 2023 looks like. You’ve got your performers lined up, got your giveaway items and prizes. However, let’s say you are like me and are biting off that proverbial chew of decorating the children’s section. I am in the lucky position of having two whole small branch libraries that I get to help decorate for summer reading; that was sarcasm. That aside, it occurred to me to write a bit about the creative process. My painting students are frequently treated to it, so I thought of you, the audience at home. It’s Always a Process and Frequently Involves Cardboard This process gives a few options and rely on just a few factors. Here’s a flowchart for you to guide you! If you dawdle and or procrastinate, here is what your creative process…