The Last School Visits and Summer Reading

11 Jun

sunglasses-312051_640We had a group of 100 third graders visit this past week for a library tour and a quick highlight of upcoming library programs for summer reading.  We had already seen them at school a few weeks ago, but they got the chance to come into the library, which for me is always a lot of fun!

My promise to each and every one of the kids in my tour group is to find them a book they want to read this summer.  Most of them will roll their eyes or pay more attention to our Wii games than the books, but I figure out the best way to get their attention.  I first asked their teacher to cover her ears (which is an automatic way to get kids’ attention).  Then I asked if any of them don’t really like to read or have to do summer reading because mom or dad is making them do it.  I had a bunch of kids raise their hands and this is the best part – I said, “It’s okay not to like to read absolutely everything!  I don’t like everything I read, but if you come into the library this summer, I promise to find you something you’ll want to read and hopefully like!”

I think kids need to hear that it’s okay if you don’t like to read.  I think kids need to hear that adults don’t like everything they read too.  It makes it okay and it hopefully will help kids to understand that I’m at the library to help them find something fun and enjoyable.

I had a young man (going into 6th grade) stop by the library the other night.  He was looking up Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart on the catalog computer and I casually asked him if he needed some help.  After realizing that he’s older than what I originally thought, I grabbed Captain Underpants as a quick read for him and pulled two or three other books that I thought he might like as well and left him to take a look at them.  I saw him a little while later and checked to see if he was interested in any of the books I gave him.  He (and his mom) smiled at me and said, “I took them all!”

Summer is coming whether I’m ready or not and it can be exhausting, but as Katie said on the ALSC blog today, go the extra mile, share your uplifting stories with coworkers and friends, and remember what we’re doing is important!

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