Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reading Wildly: Bestsellers

It's summer! Summer Reading is going on... and Reading Wildly is also going on! It's been awhile since our last meeting because it's just hard to squeeze everything in over the summer. We have programs almost every day (many days multiple programs), etc. etc. But my staff and I have still been reading!!

You'll have to excuse me, for it is summer and all the books are checked out and I did not even think about getting a photo together of our books. The photo, instead, is our group staff reading log that we put up for Summer Reading Club. We've done cuter individual reading logs in the past, but this is what we could muster this summer. ;)

This month, our topic was Bestsellers. Any book on a bestseller list over the weeks we were reading counted. I chose bestsellers because these are books that are popular now and it's important to pick up books the kids really like, even if they're not necessarily an adult's cup of tea. Why?

For one, reading currently popular books helps librarians with readers' advisory questions. When all your copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Hunger Games are checked out, what do you suggest to kids? It's easier to find readalikes if you've read the book (and much easier if you've read it and discussed it with your colleagues!). Also, it gives us some "street cred". Kids are often so impressed when we can tell them we've read the books they love. It shows that we care about what we're doing and we care about what the kids are interested in.

So, go ahead and pick up that Fancy Nancy chapter book. It's not that long, anyway. ;)

Since we were each working off many of the same bestseller lists, there were several titles that had been read by more than one staff member. It actually gave us a nice balance between talking about many titles and getting to talk more in-depth about a few of them.

One issue that I didn't think about before assigning "Bestsellers" as a theme was that many of the books were checked out throughout the summer. This is where it was nice that we had some extra time for reading this month, since staff members could place holds and wait for books to come in. It was a fun topic, but next time maybe we won't do that one in the middle of the Summer Reading Club.....

Here are the books that my staff and I shared during our Reading Wildly meeting:

Next month is readers' choice since I knew we'd be busy with Summer Reading Club (next year maybe June and July will be readers' choice...). I've told my staff that if they have any trouble deciding what to read, they should use their colleagues as resources and practice their readers' advisory interviews. I'm excited to see what everyone will read for next month (and I'm also excited to read whatever I want for next month, especially with ALA coming right up!).