Tag Archives: summer reading program

Summer Reading is coming…

11 May

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Whether I’m ready or not, summer reading is indeed, coming.  I’ve got WAY too much to do before it gets here, but it’ll be here before I know it.  I am always more than jealous as friends begin making plans for 1/2 day Fridays, summer vacations, and relaxing when all I can think about is the number of families streaming through the doors on any given day to a variety of programs and the endless questions about “required reading” for summer (not by the library, but usually by a school class).

But then I remember the excitement of an upcoming Kindergartner signing up for the Summer Reading Program for the first time, the look in a kid’s eye when I find the book they just “have to have”, and the not-so-reluctant choice of a picky reader when I’ve found something they might actually want to read.  These are the reasons why I do it – through the crazy, busy, insane months of summer – I know that I am making a difference in a child’s life and that’s what makes this the best job in the world.

So, I’m bracing myself, taking each day (and item on my checklist) one at a time and I’m getting ready for a summer filled with finding that just right book for that just right kid.  Brace yourselves, Miss Laura is (almost) ready!

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Summer Camp Outreach – Week #3

24 Jul
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Wearing my rainbow crazy glasses!

This week and next week are my last camp outreach programs for the summer.  I think overall, they’ve gone really well this year.  I’ve picked out some really great read alouds that have gotten some great response from the kids and the kids and counselors have really enjoyed our projects this summer.

This week for the 5 & 6 year olds, I read aloud a few books and they kept begging me to read another, which is great to hear!  So today, we started with Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas followed by The Big Mean Dust Bunny.  As a side note, I had to explain to the kids what dust bunnies were, a few wanted to know if they were alive and others seemed a little confused so I told them to go home and look where dust bunnies like to live the most – under the bed, dresser or sofa.  The kids had so much fun thinking of rhyming words with the dust bunnies.

After these two books, the kids wanted to hear more (and I’d like to point out that it was a small group today made up of 11 boys and 1 girl), so we read Chips and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds which the kids also liked!  And ended with Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds.  We talked about the difference between carnivores and art sculptures2vegetarians and I think the kids understood the story (which I personally love!).

For our activity, the kids made crazy glasses (which took up a lot of my time cutting them all out), but they enjoyed coloring them in and wearing them.  Overall, because it was a smaller group, I was able to sit and color with them as opposed to keeping track of everyone and watching over the project.  The crazy glasses took a lot of prep, I cut them out, and attached the arms before camp, but we had fun wearing them!

For the 7 & 8 year olds, I read the first chapter and a half of Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and the kids seemed intrigued to find out art sculptures1what would happen next.  For their art project, we made art sculptures!  These sculptures were made out of box flaps for the cardboard, pieces of colored printing paper and I tried art paste for the first time.  I didn’t make a model, but did show the kids a picture of what they looked like.  And I was pleased to see a lot of kids were experimenting with different designs, rolling papers together, attaching flat papers to to the top and more.  It was a little more labor-intensive craft for the kids, but it made them work at being patient and working hard which I didn’t mind!

Is It Fall Yet? Or Summer Reading Is Draining Me!

16 Jul

I’m in week 5 of 11 official weeks of summer reading…. and I’m at the point in the summer where I don’t know if I’ll make it.  It’s been a very busy summer already with our circulation through the roof (almost 2,000 more books that last June), reference questions that seem never ending, and programming on a daily basis.  Everyone on staff looked as though they wanted to jump ship on Tuesday, so I baked muffins for Wednesday in the hopes of brightening people’s spirits.  It’s just one of those weeks where we’ve had so much going on that people are a little fried, due to a science summer camp we’ve had 38 in-house and outreach programs this week. Not to mention, they migrated our online registration system which has caused panic and new directions and a little more stress than usual.

But, it’s the little things that make me keep coming back.  Like the kids at camp who were literally chanting to have me re-read The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak again.  Or the little girl who came in looking for the story after I read it at camp last week.  Or the Girl Scout cookies a family dropped off for me as a “thank you for all you do!”  Or the kid who doesn’t stop reading taking home ten new books I helped her pick out.  These are the little things that make me love (absolutely) love what I do.  The repeated, “I’m sorry that book is checked out, can I put it on hold for you?” is getting a little old, but it’s always great to see so many people in the library.

So no matter how tired I am, I try to remember to smile and help everyone I can as much as possible to have a positive experience with our library, because in the end that’s what’s important!

90 degree heat + a broken air conditioner = Madness!

12 Jun

WINTER IS COMINGOur air conditioner has been broken for a little while now and because we have to follow procedure, it may still be awhile before it can be repaired.  Meanwhile, it’s been over 90 degrees for the past two days and our summer reading program officially begins on Monday.  Luckily, we librarians are fairly resilient and we’re pushing through the mucky heat and humidity to make sure summer reading begins without a hitch.

We offer pre-registration to the kids at school after we see them in an assembly, but this year many families came into the library rather than sending the registration form back to school.  It adds a little craziness to the department as we’re trying to finish up last minute details… but if the kids are excited about signing up, we don’t want to squash their enthusiasm.

We’re also trying to provide better signage to our popular series books, book lists with fun, updated titles, and always a smile.  I have (like most children’s librarians) a love-hate relationship with the summer.  Usually, by now, I’m ready for the summer to be over.  But this year, I’m really trying to be excited about all of our upcoming events, the possibilities of connecting kids with books and staying energized because as the saying goes, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”  Our last, big program will be mid-August and kids can still record their titles and time until the end of August.  I’m excited to spend some time with extended family over the 4th of July and have some other plans for day trips to keep myself refreshed and ready for anything.

Reading is definitely my escape and  if this week’s any indication (I’ve read 5 books and am on a 6th) I’ll be escaping all summer long into some great books that I picked up at BEA!  My favorite part of summer – seeing kids get excited about reading!  And it makes it all worth it!

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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