Schools are out, splash pads are on, and community libraries everywhere are launching their summer reading programs!
According to the ALA, summer reading programs began in the 1890s to develop the habit of reading and to forestall the “summer slide” in school children. Engaging urban youth was important to lessen the impact of economic disparity, which has only increased in the century since.
But that doesn’t mean summer reading shouldn’t be fun!
To draw crowds back into the library this summer, iSchool colleagues are organizing amazing events, scheduling circus performers, and raising awareness about their libraries’ offerings, like tween book clubs and coding classes.
It’s no small feat. Youth services staff member and iSchool student, Beth Krebs-Smith, has been planning her program for months in a table, tracking dates, supplies, and what still needs to be done. By mid-may, Beth happily reported that all her activities were planned out on the calendar, with details to be determined.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, librarian and iSchool alum, Carrie, Sanabria has fun weekly performers booked out all summer until August. Her branch will be inviting magicians, ventriloquists, musicians, and wildlife presenters, like Zovargo’s live animal ambassadors who will be bringing five animal friends (both scaly AND feathered!) to teach children about the conservation of animals, their habitats, and sustainable behaviors.
To bring it home to my local public library system in Las Vegas, I’m happy to say that we just had a series of successful kickoff events! Eight branches across the valley conducted three summer challenge celebrations aimed at different age groups in their communities. Participants young and old were invited to win prizes while keeping their skills sharp all summer. As is the case with many other libraries, Beanstack has been a lifesaver when it comes to logging challenge activities.
With the mercury rising, make sure to visit your local library and find something to enjoy before you settle in beside the pool.
Stay cool, and let me know what you’ll be getting up to in your libraries!