Monday, August 25, 2014

Birthday Book Club

In honor of my blog turning six month's old yesterday, I figured I would share a passive program related to birthdays.

We have a "Birthday Book Club" at my library. The way it works is that kids under five can receive a free book during the month of their birthday. All they have to do is say the three magic words.

This was a program that was already implemented when I started at my library almost four years ago. It was originally funded by a grant from "Great Parents, Great Start". The grant covered the cost of purchasing a variety of paperback picture books and board books.

When I originally started here it was viewed as a short term program. I have been able to continue it in part through an early literacy grant from Target. The money from this grant was used to purchase even more paperback picture books and board books from Scholastic Literacy Partnerships.

I also add any donations that are in condition, as well as leftovers from each year's summer reading book giveaways. So far I haven't had to search for any additional funding, and it doesn't appear I will have to any time soon.

To advertise this program we have signage in the children's department. It also helps that kids get so excited about their birthdays that they end of telling me as soon as possible.

This program has been easy to maintain and inexpensive. Of course, the kids in any community benefit from getting as many of "their own" books as possible. I also like that the "books as presents" model does a lot to get the idea across that books are special and fun.

I definitely wish that I could extend this program to the older kids too. The focus of the Target grant has prevented this happening so far. I am definitely on the lookout for a grant that would allow me to extend this program.

Do you do a birthday book club at your library? How is it set up?

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