Doing the Summer Thing

Like the rest of our colleagues, we are about to launch into our summer busy season here at the library.  We are particularly excited  - and maybe a little anxious - to be premiering not one, not two, but three new re-vamped programs for our kids.  We totally redesigned our ages 3-10 program; have developed a brand new toddler/baby program and have re-invigorated our teen program.  Today let's look at the newest addition to our SLP family: The Rubber Ducky Club!

We have long invited our one and two year olds to be part of our summer reading club but the fit was always...uncomfortable.  Food coupons and geegaws didn't really fit the tiny tots' interests or needs. And most little prizes were definitely not recommended for under three year olds.  But we wanted to encourage parents reading to their children and using the six pre-literacy skills. What to do, what to do?

And then, like all good things in children's librarianship, we discovered that someone had an answer that would work for us!  We stumbled on the great idea of the Rubber Ducky Club when Karen Burke at the Naperville (IL) Library in Illinois shared their information on this club on ALSCConnect newsletter (another reason to be an ALA/ALSC member...great ideas are shared!). We were intrigued. A quick email exchange ensued and Karen generously shared their club materials.  And here is what we developed:

Our club is split into two months.  Each month features six simplified pre-literacy skills with activities to do often with 0-35 month old kids during that time.  After July 1, the June sheet can be returned, a rubber ducky is presented and the July sheet heads home with the family.  That sheet can be returned in August and redeemed for a brand new book.

Record keeping is minimal and the focus is on encouraging parents in their great work supporting early literacy at home. This completes a wonderful trio of early literacy activities we launched: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten; Play Learn Read centers and now our Rubber Ducky Club.

And to make it all even sweeter, staffers created this little promo video featuring our newest spokes-creatures: Babe and Todd (baby and toddler). Get outta town! This is fun!


  1. Marge! This is such a great idea. Would you mind sharing your files with me? I would love to incorporate this into my summer reading program next year. Thanks!


  2. I love you idea!! Like Bridget, I was wondering if you would mind sharing the files with me too?
    Thanks so much!
    Sharon Kolatalo


  3. Marge - this is awesome. One day - I would like to do this!

  4. I, too, saw the ALSCConnect article and was intrigued by Naperville's program. I would love it if you could share the materials you developed too? Thank you!!

    Kathy DeWeese

  5. This looks great! We have been thinking of including the little ones, and this is such a great idea.

    Can you share the files with me too???


  6. Where do we get the worksheet that goes along with the program?

  7. How do I get the worksheets for the program?

  8. Love this! Can you send me the files?

  9. BCPL...just send me your email and I'll get a set out stat!

  10. I loved your three ideas on the really early literacy programs. Would you share your files with me as well? We have a MOPS group in town and I would love to have something that they could do with their little ones, too.

  11. oh I love this idea also and would love to jump on the bandwagon and use this next summer if you don't mind more sharing just great for the age group

  12. I would love to use this in 2012! will you share you're files?

  13. I would also love to have a gander at this! would you be so kind as to send me something too?


  14. Judy and Carma, I'll get those out to you once I get back from vacation 9/19. If I forget, email me at marge@lacrosselibrary.org to help me remember!

  15. This is an amazing idea! I'd love ot revamp our SRP with something like this. Would you mind sending yoru files my way as well? I'm a new librarian and I'm starting from scratch essentially since my library didn't have an option for babies. Thank you!

  16. Hi Sarah,
    Just Google Winding Rivers Library System and look under "Youth Services" and you'll find the PDFs for this. It was a fun program and we are going to do again!

  17. Thanks! Also, where did you guys get your rubber duckies? I was thinking about ordering some from Oriental Trading, but I don't know if they're too small.

  18. I think we checked a couple different sources but all of them were fairly big (almost my fist szed!