Summer Wrap

Summer Reading Program. It's almost time to stick a fork in.

After nine weeks of "official" fun and a couple of days into our final two weeks of book reward pick-up, I am ready to say we have had a great summer. Yesterday we had a wrap-up meeting with staffers and we couldn't think of much that went wrong; that we had to improve or that our families didn't like. In fact, we had greater participation; better continuing returns; and more expressed enthusiasm by the kids and families.

Beyond that, the program set-up allowed staff to take vacation and conference time off throughout the eleven week duration. We had plenty of time to do reference and reader's advisory with the kids. The programs were fun and well-attended. For the first time EVER, we didn't book any performers. We saved a ton of money and the only sadness we heard was from a few day care providers (Hmmm, we must have been providing their entertainment in the past).

This year, for the first time, the teens joined the babies, tots and elementary-age kids in our book prize extravaganza. For two weeks in August, we invite all the kids who earned books as a prize to come in, browse and make their selection. We have the books on tables in program room roughly by age - but nothing is labeled. Kids have loved it. They can pick a book that appeals to them  - we have advanced readers copies for them to "test"; inexpensive books we picked up at Book Fair sales and pristine condition used books. Kids often come out and reserve titles they didn't pick but want to read.

I look at Abby(the) Librarian's wrap-up; the enthusiastic report of a new librarian in WI being "present" for the kids; The Show-Me Librarian's reflections and our own early happiness with the way SLP was shaping up. It tells me we are all going in a great direction - one that embraces summer and the kids without fear and without burn-out.  And isn't that what it's really all about?

Image: 'Catfish, Shrimp and Frieshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/33286810@N00/396888366

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