Prompted by Abby the Librarian’s Summer Reading posts, here’s a description of how summer reading works at my library.
We kick off the first Sunday in June with Children’s Day on the Ped Mall. Children’s Day is within the larger Arts Fest for all ages. Music, crafts, magicians, giant dinosaur sculptures, bubbles, etc. etc. along with registration for the Summer Reading Program.
The library has a children’s, teen and adult summer reading programs. Teens are within the adult services department at our library so I’ll just be talking about the children’s program here. There are three different task sheets, Read-to-Me, Grades K-2 and Grades 3–6. While each sheet has different tasks, the idea is the same for all of them. There are 30 tasks to choose from and when the children have completed fifteen they choose a book prize and get some little trinkets as well. The tasks include broadly-based reading, listening and viewing activities (read an award-winning book, read a nonfiction book, listen to an audiobook, etc.) designed to highlight the many collections in the Children’s Room. There are also activity-based tasks (attend a storytime, write a book review, describe a country you’d like to visit, etc.).
We start our eight weeks of special programs one week after registration begins. Our big day is Thursdays. After a special guest storytime in the morning, we have special guest programs in the afternoon for children who have finished kindergarten through Grade 6 (puppet shows, Mad Science, World of Dance, etc.). At the same time there is a preschool play program so that there is something for everybody in multi-aged families. This is a storytime followed by a craft (a treat because we don’t normally do crafts at storytime). The other special preschool event in the summer is Stories in the Park held twice a week in two different parks. The other special school-age programs are Wii gaming one afternoon and a couple of read-to-a-therapy-dog times. Towards the end of the summer reading program there is a Book Festival in town and there are lots of special children’s activities connected with that that we and other county libraries participate in as well.
Our regular storytime and Book Babies programming continue through the summer as well.
While the programs and summer reading keep things hopping, what really keeps us the busiest during the summer are all the day camps that come in. There can be up to four summer camps in at the same time. That’s when it gets really crazy!