Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You STILL Can’t Beat Free

You STILL Can’t Beat FREE We live in an age of what economists call “perfect information“. This of course does not mean that the information we get is perfect, Instead, it means no hidden information. Perfect information more precisely means we all have access to instant information, understand its use as well as its plusses and minuses. But we also experience information overload, which is where we come in. And I’m here to help make your lives a wee bit easier, by finding all the free stuff! Ideas, downloads, and a touch of fun. I hope you enjoy and utilize these resources. And of course, I hope you enjoy all the fun stuff, too! Programming Ideas You Can Do! I will come over to your library if you say you can’t do any number of these…well…if you cover my expenses! ; )) When I was an Art major, we were…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Virtual Summer Reading 2021

cartoon image of child with vr goggles on on a solar system background

Summer Reading Virtual Once More So, for most of us, summer reading 2021 will be virtual once more. For some, it meant outsourcing virtual programming, with others flipping coins to see who’d go in front of the green screen. But overall, this is the future of public library programming. Need some help? Read on, fellow green screeners! Best Practices Understand that best practices are still being established, and represents an evolving skillset.  We are understanding the platforms and their capabilities as we go along.  When it comes to producing content, though, many standard best practices for streaming and broadcast apply.  TWITCH  DISCORD  Appears to be a combo of equipment and broadcast practices broadly applicable to streaming in general: Streamer and moderator best practices Consistency with schedule Marketing and promo Equipment and software  It’s a communication tool, not a vault Organization is key Library specific recommendation is to connect with local servers to promote programs Don’t @everyone Keep posting,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2021 When COVID met Summer Slide

covid slide projections, reading decreases 32-37%

COVID Slide and Summer Slide Meet There are no definitives in this article. I’m sorry. Some split infinitives assuredly, though. So, 2020 and summer reading was new for us. Most of our library systems are going to continue circling the in-person programming wagons in 2021 in favor of going online. The system I work for, in fact, is purchasing online programming, which was actually pretty well received. But, as in the past, I wanna light a fire under you. You’ve already met summer slide. And we’re pretty sure there’s a COVID Slide. So, what happens when they start dating? What do their children look like? Wallflower No More I understand why you may have sidelined yourself last summer. It was chilly water. We stood back and watched, waited, hoped, and tried to remain optimistic. We waited largely to see what other systems would do. But we didn’t do much else….

Blogger Heather Acerro

Summer Playlist: At Home Edition

In 2017, Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the Summer Playlist program to replace our traditional Summer Reading Program (SRP). You can read all about that process here. Summer Playlist is an all-ages reading and adventure program that is inclusive of all abilities and interests. When we started our SRP overhaul, we intended that the program would remain relatively unchanged for at least five years. For 2018 & 2019, we ended up making several large changes that were much-needed simplifications and improvements. In early 2020, we finally had the most absolutely perfect Summer Playlist program yet; everything was ready to go, our reward bags were ordered, our log was ready for the printer, and it was going to be the BEST! And you know how this story ends. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Does Drama Camp Translate to Virtual Format?

O, Social distancing, how thou art a thorn in my side!   For the past seven years, I’ve been running a two week drama camp as one of the many activities my library offers during our summer reading program.  It is, typically, my biggest and most involved program each year.  I’m used to parents and campers rushing into the library to sign up for camp on the first day registration opens.  It is usually filled with a full wait list in just a matter of a day or two. Campers are rising 3rd-8th graders; counselors are high school and college students.  We do Shakespeare in Elizabethan English.  The campers put on a full (albeit abridged) production on the last day of camp.  The camp has steadily grown over the years. The past two years we have been on a real stage, with theater lighting, sound, and av effects.  We’ve done…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story!

Darth Vader reading on a playground slide

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story? Summer slide in the age of COVID.  I don’t think anyone can really imagine what this summer will look like in terms of a summer reading program for any age group.  The show must go on, though – so let’s imagine your story together! Scheduling Scheduling a time for your summer reading program is essential.  Pick you set of dates, beginning and ending, as well as your “big” program days.  You’ve had some practice with online programming by now.  Now, just do it bigger! Space Familiarity is critical for your audience.  It gives a sense of anticipation, a recognizable (or branding) setting, and a reassuring repetition.  If the space you’ve been using for online programming isn’t as polished as you’d like it, time to refine!  Sound problems?  Get them ironed out!  This is crunch time! Supplies Your list of supplies this summer is going…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Summer’s Changing and It Should

For years, public libraries have been offering some form of Summer Reading Program for the youth in their communities. There is an abundance of evidence on the benefits of Summer Reading Programs in reducing the effects of summer slide and reducing the achievement gaps that can exist between students from low and middle income families. (For more resources look at http://www.summermatters.net/summer-learning-loss-increases-the-achievement-gap-diagram/ and https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/summerslide). In the last ten years, many public libraries and youth librarians have been asking the questions “Is a Summer Reading program enough?” and “How can we help reduce our students’ losses in mathematics and other subject areas?”  The evolving solution to those questions is the transformation from Summer Reading Programs to Summer Learning Programs.