I am definitely someone who likes to work "smarter, not harder" in the summer. I don't get too frantic about the programs that we are planning. I just like to think about the possibilities for fun and getting kids together in the library and ZING! off we go. I like to plan the 2 months of summer like I plan any two months of the year: give me about a two-three month lead and we're good to go.
Of course this is all helped along by the fact the libraries I work in have participated in the Collaborative Library Summer Program (CLSP) - a grassroots consortium of forty-seven states "working together to provide high-quality summer reading program for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries." We can take advantage of great materials, great ideas, great booklists...well, great everything and save a ton of time. And with so many people across the country contributing and thinking, the sky is the limit on wonderful ideas.
And of course, beyond the manual, there are even more resources! My bible of the moment comes from Michele Farley, Indiana State Library Children's Services Consultant. She created a nifty little compendium, 101 Ideas for Getting Creative and Expressing Yourself @ Your Library at WebJunction that is chock full of great ideas for amazing programs that anyone can put together - presto! Many are simple, all are fun and the cost for most is low, low, low. And perhaps the best part of this list - the ideas are so great you can use them year-round to spark your creativity and freshen up your programs. Cool!