Shaking Up SLP - Research-iness

Change is in the air with SLP. More people are getting outside the box and re-examining the worn-out paradigms of how we engage kids in the summer. These posts look at aspects of SLP and ask us to think bigger, deeper and wider - and share experiences along the continuum for change. 

In Wisconsin, we underwent a sea-change in our reportable statistics for youth programs over the past few years.

In the past, only summer reading program attendance was recognized and counted. You did a winter reading program? Too bad. Not reportable. You did a fall or spring reading program? So sad.

But after discussions with youth librarians around the state, Youth Services and Special Needs consultant Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and her Department of Public Instruction (DPI) colleagues took a different approach - one based on what is really happening in libraries around the state and what research indicates are ways in which programs in libraries are evolving. Now we can count any reading program - summer or not (referred to as "literacy offerings").

That same discussion with frontline library youth staff and careful thought resulted in some deep thoughts and research into reading programs - summer, spring, winter or fall. Last year, DPI published an amazing document put together by Tessa - Offering Library Reading Programs: Top Ten Tips for Librarians - that is quietly knocking the socks off librarians in our state. Reading choice?!?! No prizes?!?! Aligning the reading program with the schools' and public library's mission?!?! Oh yeah, baby!

Best of all the links here point us to research to buttress what we are doing when we start changing how we go about evolving our summer library program. Research and writing on change ease our work in evolving library reading programs by guiding us into tested "this is why this works" and give us needed ammunition to change hearts and minds of our co-workers and management.

This document and the research links can serve us as we shake up our SLP.

How about you? What have you been thinking about summer reading/library program? Join our conversation in the comments, on your blog or as a guest post writer (send guest posts to me lochwouters at gmail dot com). For additional thoughtful posts, stop by the Summer Reading Revolution Pinterest board or read other posts in this series

Shaking Up SLP - Facing Down Fear
Shaking Up SLP - Questions
Shaking Up SLP - Workshop Power
Shaking Up SLP - School Power
Shaking Up SLP- Creating the Zen


  1. I am so excited for all of the ys librarians who are shaking up their SLPs! Change can be scary, but it's so worth it (even if something flops). But you know that :) What I really wanted to say is that we're shaking up our SLP even more by getting rid of registration for our storytimes (and letting parents know that if we exceed our room limit, then the storytime will move outside so be prepared w/ sunscreen, etc). With this change, the realization hit me that this year's CSLP theme affords us a great marketing opportunity to have a graphic illustration of "BAM! CHANGE! It's super!" (or something like that). I can hardly wait to make the marketing materials!

  2. You are a smart cookie! This IS a golden opportunity to have kids and parents be superheroes of change!