Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Marches On

And so summer marches on... I got busy last week and I meant to post this, but it didn't happen. I just wanted to check in with how our summer's going.

We officially surpassed last year's total for Summer Reading Club signups last week. We have 2231 kids signed up in the Children's and Read-to-Me (under-2) clubs and we have 447 teens. Last year at the end of the summer, we "only" had 2119 kids in the Children's and Read-to-Me (not sure what the teen total was last year). And we have a good 5 weeks to go!

True, things slow down for us in July when many of our families take vacations. And we've had great daycare participation this year. Every year, we have some daycares wanting to get their kids involved in Summer Reading Club, but it seems like we have had ALL THE DAYCARES this year. Later in July, I'm going to try to touch base with as many of those daycares as I can to see if we can encourage them to finish the club with their kids. As much as I love having so many children participating, I'd really love to see at least 50% finish (last year, 45% of the kids finished). I know that there are probably many families who do read enough to complete the requirements, but things come up and they forget to come back to the library or they lose their materials or any number of things... 

Last week, we had a great visit from one of our daycamp groups. They brought about 30 kids and we did a storytime for the younger kids and booktalks for the older kids. I was in charge of booktalks for the older kids and they were truly a great group. I booktalked the following titles: 

Hidden by Helen Frost

How Big Is It? by Ben Hillman **This was the runaway hit of the program and I was glad I saved it for last!**

Kampung Boy by Lat

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Savvy by Ingrid Law

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson

They checked out almost everything I booktalked, although the daycamp leader was a little unsure about a couple of the titles I talked (notably A Tale Dark and Grimm, which she felt was not appropriate for their church facility). Nobody was upset. I had printed out lists for all the kids with all the titles so the girl who had wanted to check that title out could ask her parents to bring her back in later if she wants to check it out. Also, lesson learned for me: I'll be sure to evaluate my choices more closely for the next booktalking session I'm doing for them in a couple of weeks! 

We'll take a little break from programming for the week of July 4. That's partially because the holiday makes scheduling our programs hard and we figure many families may be going out of town, and it's partially because we all need a little bit of a break in the middle of summer.

Hey, I loved Marge's post about some of the things she's done in her department to make Summer Reading LESS stressful for herself and her staff. We've done many of these same things in my department this year and last year. Having signups for the SRC going on for a couple of weeks before we start programming has made an amazing difference and this year we don't have a lot of programming scheduled during the last week of SRC either so we can accommodate all the kids coming in to collect prizes and enter the drawings for the last time.

And that's how my summer's marching on... How's yours going?