As you probably already know if you are reading this, summer is the busiest of year to be a youth services librarian in a public library. Running a summer reading program can be stressful but also amazingly fun and rewarding. While waiting for this year's summer reading program to start, I've definitely enjoyed the way my online youth service colleagues have written about this dichotomy. Angie sums up the chaos and fun of summer reading perfectly at her post on Letters to a Young Librarian. Sarah at Green Been Teen Queen gives another great account of what it is like to be a public librarian in the summer. They both show outsiders that summer reading is definitely not something to be run away from in fear!
I wanted to share a little bit of my own summer reading related positivity, so here we have my countdown of five reasons why summer reading rocks.
Reason 5: You get to include fun and interesting outside performers
I don't typically use outside performers at my library very often, mainly due to budget reasons. However, in the summer all that changes, because I know attendance will be high. I typically get to include a least a few performers each summer. This summer we are having a magician, a pair of authors and a local artist visit my library. It adds a little variety for both the kids, and is fun for me to see as well.
Reason 4: It's the perfect opportunity to try new program ideas
More programs done each week equals more chance to those ideas filling up my Pinterest boards. The overarching themes of the Collaborative Summer Library Program also give me a chance to focus on topics I may not have previously thought of. For instance last years science themed summer reading program really strengthened my repertoire of STEAM program ideas.
Reason 3: You get to see kids you may not see during the school year.
There are some kids that can't make it into the library often during the school year, no matter how amazing your programs are. Summer is your time to see these kids and show them what the library is all about. The goal is for them to remember these positive experiences and become life long library fans.
Reason 2: The children's department gets to help the library build community good will
Summer reading is a great opportunity to show your community what the library has to offer. You have more families in to visit, more items being checked out and more programs to brag about. It is also a great time to partner with community organizations to fund prizes and programs. This works to showcase the positive of both organizations.
Reason 1: More kids + More reading = more fun.
This is really what it's all about. Summer reading brings together a children's librarian's two great loves: kids and books. There is really nothing better.
What are your favorite things about summer reading?