We are busy with class visits, decorating, raffle basket-making, and all around summer reading prep, here at my library. One of the very best parts of summer, for me, is our very popular and wonderful summer volunteers. Like our Community Club teens, this eager group of middle and high schoolers are completely excited to be part of our library. They finally have some down time and they choose to spend it here. Unlike other libraries I know, we utilize our teens for a variety of volunteer opportunities. They help prepare our crafts for the fall. They assist our young patrons with their summer reading logs and now with the summer reading website. They march in our parades. They perform a play for toddlers and also read to them in weekly storytimes. All in all I love watching our teens make a commitment and follow through with it. Despite the reputation of teens, they really show initiative here and always end up with a fantastic summer of fun, growth and a sense of responsibility. They learn how to speak to both children and adults as well as how to work together with their fellow volunteers. Aside from the hours of service credit they get, these kids really earn much more. Next week begins sign up and I can't wait to see all their eager faces, happy to help and ready for summer 2016!
is this blog! So many things are happening and I am just starting to settle down. Sort of. It's been a marathon. I am completely superhero'd out. In the coming weeks I will summarize what worked and what didn't as programming comes to a close. In the meanwhile, we had an excellent pajama storytime complete with bubbles and dancing and crafts. And today's parent/child yoga ended our Wednesday toddler programs with some calming peace and serenity (I think). Take a peek. Namaste..
Summer Reading is nearly here and I'm up to my eyeballs in pinterest pages of crafts and activities. My summer calendar is jam-packed with activities and performers of all kinds and lots of things to keep families, kids and our teens engaged and feeling the "power" of libraries this summer. This week I went to the NLS Summer Reading workshop for a morning of idea sharing and motivation. It was great (and we made a craft!) I am thinking of those masks for our teens, as well as bringing in some real-life heroes for a weekly "Hero Hangout", in addition to the many programs and activities we will have on hand. What are some of your summer reading plans and activities? Share!
Summer reading kicked off this week.... we've got our Mad Scientist photo booth and our weekly science station all ready to go. Kids have been pouring in the last two days, anxious to sign up. It's not easy to keep the momentum going. We've got our weekly Guessing Jar, along with raffles, and also a chance to come to our Library Late Night, where 20 kids get to party into the wee hours (way past my bedtime folks!). After all the planning for months and months, it's exciting to see it all come together. I think this summer is already proving to be a huge success!
One of the best parts of Summer Reading is our Teen Volunteers. We get upwards of 75 during the month of July. They are all looking to fulfill community service hours and truth be told, sometimes keeping them all busy and under control is a job in itself. One of the absolute best uses of teen volunteers during the summer is having them prepare our crafts that we will use in storytime in the fall/winter. Each storytime requires 30+ crafts with all the supplies, etc.. Having teens cut and prepare these ahead of time is FABULOUS. It requires lots of pre-planning, of course. Today I am am creating each of the crafts, templates, and their samples (as you see pictured). Once our summer volunteers come in, I will have hours and hours of cutting, sorting and preparing for them to do when things get slow. It's also a great way to get a jump on fall and get a little creative and crafty.
The baskets are wrapped with goodies galore, in hopes Summer Reading is far from a bore! Ok, so I'll keep my day job. But you get the point. Summer Reading is HERE and if librarians had their own Holiday-ish season, this would be it! We are working non-stop, dreaming up (literally, I wake at night) all sorts of events, games, promotions, displays to keep our kids and their families coming back for more, more, MORE! And just like with the traditional holiday season, I am excited, a bit stressed, and sick. Cough! My throat is sore. I'm congested. And I fell asleep in my car during my school visit break today. This is not good, folks. Ahhhhhchoooo!
This is the first summer I've actually had the chance to plan, select, and implement tons of summer events for kids and teens. I feel so involved in the process that as the countdown to kick off approaches, I've actually got butterflies. Experience has taught me that not everything will work as planned. But, I've put a lot into early literacy programming for babies and toddlers this year, and I'd like to see that growing segment really thrive. These are new parents, and new families, and I'd love to see them become regulars here at the library. :-) I know we have some great programs. I can't wait.
Then there's the teen programs I've scheduled, such as Video Game Design and MoVChat... another group I'm hoping will expand in the next year. Oh, and don't forget my wedding I'm planning for August in New Mexico.... (running a close second to summer reading, lol). It's going to be a crazy good summer.