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A Few Unique Ideas for Summer Reading Performers

In many places around our country, January equals cold temperatures, barren trees, and dark days (even as the sunlight slowly increases each day). The perfect time to discuss and start planning summer programming, am I right? In fact, I’m not the only one contemplating Summer, as Jonathan Dolce just posted a list of excellent resources on the collaborative summer library program theme in All Together Now 2023 SRP. In addition to program planning, many of us may find ourselves starting the elusive search for performers. We hope to find the right combination of popularity and budget to draw our communities into participating in our Summer Reading Programs. Hopefully most of us involved in this tedious research already have a master list of performers or participate in library Facebook groups like Programming Librarian Interest Group to solicit ideas. My goal is not to offer ideas for big names or trends, but to instead…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

All Together Now 2023 SRP

But It’s Still Winter… Believe it or not, this is my 20th year working – as a paid employee – in Central Florida libraries. If you include volunteering…well…that’d be most of my life. From all I’ve ever experienced, you can never be fully or overly prepared for a season of summer reading programming. As a matter of fact, I am known for ALWAYS having a backup plan for each program, right down to duplicates of mission critical equipment. Sounds like a military operation, doesn’t it? So, yes, it’s January and we are talkin’ All Together Now, our 2023 Summer Reading Program! Nitty Gritty, Nuts and Bolts I always love a tool kit, a place I can have everything in one spot, like a Swiss Army knife. I’m based in Florida, but this seems to have universal appeal: CSLP 2023 Program Resources 2023 Summer Program (and beyond) Resources: Overview of popular…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Planning for SRP 2023 STEMming Summer Slide

Summer slide. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is still a thing. Ideally, addressing summer slide should be a part of your annual goals or tasks, much like summer reading or Banned Books Week. Even more ideal, if there is such a thing, is partnering with schools and other local agencies. First, though, as my old college professor used to say, we can’t discuss a topic without defining it first. So, here we go. What is summer slide and why should I care? Summer slide, and I think Colorado Dept of Education puts it best is: (T)he tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of theachievement gains they made during the previous school year. Why you should care Summer slide can affect almost any child. However, the children it impacts the most are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged. Here’s a thousand words…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Enticing Summer Reading Alternative Programming For Kids Who “Hate” To Read

Summer is the busiest time of year for public youth services librarians across the country: we stack our calendars with programming and guest performers, bust out all the themed decorations, and break out our best book-themed t-shirts. All of this, of course, to the ultimate end of building in our young patrons a lifetime relationship with books.

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Celebrate Summer with Audiobooks

Ah, June. School is out. Summer Reading has begun. And many families are ready to travel. Since June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, what better way to celebrate both audiobooks and summer than with titles great for family sharing? Added bonus – depending on your library, it might count towards Summer Reading for everyone!  I’ve been hooked on audiobooks ever since a grad school assignment required me to listen to one. I had tried listening to books a few times, but just couldn’t get into the format. One book changed it all: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, narrated by Lynn Redgrave. I was drawn into the story in ways that I never imagined possible. It was pure magic. And it was a perfect way to pass the time over my weekly 6-7-hour (roundtrip) commute.  In this digital era, it seems that the library’s physical audiobooks collections are slowly becoming obsolete. Many households…

Guest Blogger

Including STEAM in Summer Library Programs

My library is using the iRead theme this year which is Read Beyond the Beaten Path. We want to include STEAM activities into our summer library program and decided to bring back something the library did before my time called “Creation Stations”. These are passive activities that can be done at each of our locations with a new activity every week. A few of the Creation Stations I have planned this year are yarn art, pipe cleaner constellations, straw rockets, build a tent, and leaf renderings. About half of the stations are science, math, and engineering based, and the other half are art based. I want to share one example of how I planned a creation station, how much prep went into it, and how we plan on executing it at our library.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program

So, we’re making waves this summer and indeed the possibilities are endless. I mentioned last week that I raised an old favorite from the depths. This week, I want to show you how to stretch out just one picture book into an epic summer reading program: Buccaneer Bunnies, to be precise! Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, by Carolyn Crimi tells the story of Henry, who is the “embarrassing” nerdy son of Blackear, the fiercest bunny to sail the seven seas. In a nutshell, Henry proves that books hold the answers to all manner of situations, outcomes and perils — all without being didactic! But how do you turn a quick read into a 60 minute program?! Well, me old sods, I’ll explain forthwith. It all starts with the book — no, really So, last week, I introduced you to Foghorn Follies, thus, we already have a puppet stage shaped like…

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Baby & Preschool Music Programs & You

With Summer just around the corner, I see solicitations for programming ideas and suggestions everywhere. Aleah Jurnecka, a colleague of mine at Kitsap Regional Library, has hit gold with two of her music programs aimed at babies and preschoolers. I wanted to share her success and best practices so you too can confidentially add a baby or preschool music program to your library offerings this summer. Inspiration Aleah first started her music programs when she worked as a librarian at Los Angeles County Public Library in southern California. She had a diverse audience at her storytimes and noticed that many caregivers didn’t truly participate along with their babies unless it involved music. She “saw the need to break down the language and cultural barriers inherent with baby storytime” she told me, and that music had a way to transcend these barriers in such a way where anyone could do it….