It’s that time of year again~
Anyone who works at a public library, especially the youth services department, will tell you that summer is a time like no other. School is out, summer programming is in full swing, and work schedules and loads shift.
This is the 3rd year I have properly worked during the Summer Reading Program. Each year the CSLP (collaborative summer library program) assigns a specific ~theme~ that participating libraries shape (more or less) their programs around. This year’s theme is all about being active/sports. Just in time for the Rio Olympics!
Our program runs around 10 weeks from the verrrrrry end of May (the 31st) until the first week of August. Over this time frame, we will hold 5 story times each week, 2 programs for 7-11-year-olds, and 1 program for ages 12-17. Last year we had over 1000 signed participants with ~20,000 books circulating (that is a lot of shelving!).
There are also incentives with our program. After they sign up, each child (or the parent, usually) fills out a slip saying how many books they have read that week. If a participant has read 10 picture/prime books, 5 60page-120page books, or 3 130+ page+ books, they can earn a swim or mini golf pass! Participants ages 11-17 can participate in the Young Adult program and enter to win a $100 gift card if their reading log is randomly chosen. There is no set reading list, and we allow the participants to read whatever they choose. This is a lot of data entry on my side of the desk, but I think I can say I understand how to use Microsoft Access now?
Needless to say, May has been our prep time and we have been hard at work typing up puppet scripts (often adapted from story books) and recording the voiceovers for the puppet plays (we play them from an iPod over speakers and maneuver the puppets). Yes, I get paid to record and do puppet plays. I know, I know. We also work to come up with craft ideas that go along with each story time.
Libraries are such an important place for many during the summer months (and year-round!) in any community and I am so excited to work again through the reading program this year. The free t-shirts are also a plus.
Ad astra per aspera