Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Diary of a Summer Reading refugee

Summer Reading 2011 started today for my library system, and the moral of this post, if it is too long for you to read, is...Use EVERYTHING you have.

 My library system has been hit pretty hard for the last few years by budget issues. In my dept, where there was once a staff of 5 Librarians, 3 para-professionals, and 2 library clerks, there is now just me and 1 library clerk. We also do not have a Friends Group for the Youth Services Department (long story there) so we are unable to get fancy swag to help bolster SRP that some libraries are able to. Couple that with the completion last week of my super-awesome grant project and I will be honest and tell you I started really thinking about SRP last week. I am in no way a procrastinator, but my "baby" had my attention and there was no one else to pick up the slack. So with that in the open, I will also tell you that it is turning out ok because...

#1 The SRP manual is great: I created a wall display using an idea I got from the "Promoting" section. I still need a headliner, but here is a photo of the "Read Around the World" wall

#2 The SRP manual is great plus ALA is in two weeks: Since I can't afford to give kids prizes for reading more than the required amount (10 books) I am doing a number of other literacy based activities and using the free swag from ALA as prizes for my "Prize Box". I found the Incentive Game (p. 38 of the Manual) that kids can do on their own and when they complete eight of the activities they get to pick a prize. The Family Summer Reading Ride (p.36)  has activities for everyone to do together and after families complete eight activities they will be entered into a raffle for a four pack of IMAX tickets.

#3 Hoarders can be your friends: Apparently there have been a few hoarders who have worked in the dept. in the past so our shelves are overflowing with random nicknacks and craft stuff. I'm having a snack and craft every Wednesday and believe me, I will not be doing anything but scowering the shelves in order to prep for that one. Today I was wondering "how the heck can I make a foam spider craft fit into the theme" and I thought two things: 1. it doesn't matter & Oh yeah... 2. ANANSI!

#4 Don't forget the bay-bays. I've been baby crazy all year doing tons of research about early literacy for my grant so I didn't want to neglect my little darlings. I created the Pre-Readers Summer Reading Program that I am going to force all my teen parents to participant in. If you're interested I can send you a copy of my card, I know a few other blogs and sites have similar programs, including Abby the Librarian

And at the end of the day, even when your boss has lost her shoes, you have a grease stain down your shirt and a black and blue arm from lugging 350 SRP bags to offsite locations, your go-to partner has given you the "NO MORE" look at least twice in the last hour, and people are still calling about missing incentive items, remember it's ok! It's just Summer Reading :)

A side note:
I should mention that I have mixed feelings about SRP...ask resident blogger Dave if you want the uncensored version, he has heard my rant :). I grew up and participated in SRP at a beautiful little library that is HARD CORE. For every book we read we had to give a verbal book review/summary to the Librarian. She (I remember Ms. Carol the best) would give us a stamp or a sticker for the log and after 5 we got to go to Pizza Hut for a personal pan pizza. Aww... the good old days. But there was no faking it there, you really had to read if you wanted that pizza.

1 Comment:

Shelsie17 said...

I know how it is being shorthanded and trying to plan Summer Reading. Sounds good to me what you are doing! Keep up the good work!

Michelle @