Hello Summer Reading!

Materials ready for one of our small branch libraries
The time is nearly here. The supplies are laid in, the publicity out, the school promo visits just about complete, the database ready, contacts made with groups who come with kids-in-care to get them oriented and staff keen-eyed (or steely-eyed as the case may be). But as prepared as we are, I still like to see what's out there that you all are doing.
As I was reading my feeds (here we pause for the image and book that inevitably pops into my head when I think about my RSS feeds), I came across a colleague's description of her summer reading programs. While it was pretty darn nice to see that she had adapted two of the formats we have been using over the years there was a better bonus for me: she shared two other designs for programs (daycares and super readers) that were new to me and that I like quite a bit.

I really appreciate hearing and reading about what other librarians are doing to make summer fun for kids - and staff! Besides reading blog posts, I am lucky enough to travel widely when wearing my hat as an itinerate workshop presenter around my state and region*. And while I share ideas we have tried, I also pick up ideas others have used to make their summer reading or library programs better and more effective.

And how do we get at effectiveness - especially during summer when our days are filled with families, kids, daycares, slp and programs, programs, programs?

I look for posts or listen to people who tell me about how:
  • a decision has resulted in more participation by the kids
  • registration has been simplified or tossed out and the result
  • how prizes have been considered and the results of any change
  • strategies that have providing staffing relief really worked
  • active programming has been de-emphasized in favor of a true stealth program: SLP
  • they include transliteracy into their SLP format
  • they innovate in any way and what happens
  • new audiences have been reached 
  • value has been added to a program through a simple innovation
You, my friends, are my guides to change and making SLP more fun and less onerous. These 8-12 weeks should not over-run our thoughts, energies, and ability to create powerful children's and teen services magic year-round. When we share our stuff, we make it easier to keep summer in perspective and bring great joy to the process.

Here's hoping you summer is joy-filled, kid-filled and a time to rise above the chaos to see just what good work you are doing for your communities. Now let's dig in!

(May 2014 note: If you'd like to see the mischief we are up to this year, please stop by here!)

*In the spirit of May's 30 Days of Awesome posts started by Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen and Liz Burns, I share that I present half and full day workshops and presentations for systems and at conferences that include Rethinking Summer Reading; Programming Mojo; The Big Link: Successful School Public Library Partnerships; Stealth Programming; Everyday Advocacy; Creating Amazing Youth Services; Undoing Dewey and anything else that helps me guide participants in the Marge-way of delving deep into why we do what we do and how to do it better.

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