Sharon and I were interested in exploring the winds of change blowing around this annual ritual. From the perceived pressure of patron/staff statements of "THIS -is-how-it-is-done" and responses to change of "But-we've-always-done-it-this-way", we looked at alternatives to fear and opportunities to embrace the challenge of change.
Intentionality in our planning to meet the needs of our community is key. So too are asking questions and examining openly why we continue traditions and practices and whether they serve our needs or true community needs. We looked at the tendency to over-program - and to become so involved in the process of the SLP we create that we suck the joy out of literacy, reading and being with kids.
We looked at going prizeless and the interesting conundrum of teens who plan their SLPs wanting more prizes. We also explored ways to involve teens in ways other than reading including volunteering and concentrating on relationship building with them.
We shared some stories of libraries creating powerful partnerships and outreach during summer. We looked at ways to engage kids in care and to think beyond reading goals to youth engagement goals when planning our summer library programs.
Finally we talked about how advocacy wraps around all of these issues. Our ability to engage stakeholders from administrators, to coworkers to our community in promoting ongoing change and better service is within the power of each of us. A huge shout-out to ALSC and specifically Jenna Nemec-Loise were given in this portion.
The rest of the workshop was all system members shining brightly as they shared tips in a series of break-out sessions hosted by their peers: handling the rough stuff of summer; strategies to go prizeless; community power; programming for all ages; SLP promotion ideas; theater games to involve teens (wait, that one was presented by a theatrically inclined teen!), the low-down on performers and more. We all learned a ton!
Below are links that we shared:
- Literacy Offerings and Library Reading Programs - WI DPI Youth Services
- Summer Reading Loss video
- Every Voice Makes a Difference
- ALSC Everyday Advocacy
- The Engaged Library
- Search Institute's Developmental Relationships with Teens
- Improving Reading Comprehension slide deck - Dr. Richard Allington
- Every Child Every Day - Dr. Richard Allington
- SRP passport - Georgia Jones, Friday Memorial Library, New Richmond WI
And finally, if you want to read more from libraries around the country engaged in changing up summer library program paradigms, please stop by the Summer Reading Revolution Pinterest Board and get inspired!
Thanks to IFLS youth consultant Leah Langby for putting together a learning day for us all!