|Summer reading at Oswego School District Public Library.|
I want to hear about actual children and their positive learning experiences through summer reading programs. I want to hear about what worked and what didn't, and most of all, I want to hear about what libraries are planning for next year so that I can better support them.
So, this year I decided to add a page to our system's final report for short answers to questions about the experiences the libraries had with summer reading. And when I say I added questions, I mean I unabashedly
Not everyone responded, but among those who did, there were some common answers:
'Reading for pleasure and understanding.' Got a story in which children and teens in your program expressed this?
*At the end of every program, our display shelves were empty.
*After almost every program in which we did experiments, the children expressed an interest in reading the [related] books we recommended.
Tailoring your displays to your programming (or to the summer theme in general) is a great way to keep the kids excited about what they just experienced and also to highlight parts of your collection that might not get the same kind of action throughout the school year.
Summer 2014 was memorable for our library because...
*The theme was fun & engaging / kids loved doing experiments and hands-on learning
*Attendance was high / we had so much participation that we ran out of reading logs
For as apprehensive as many libraries in our system were about the science theme, feedback on final evaluations was overwhelmingly positive. Some even attributed their increased attendance to the appeal of fun experiments and plan to continue programs that incorporate hands-on learning throughout the year.
For Summer 2015, I'd like to...
*Increase teen involvement
*Do more publicity / marketing / partnerships
*Invite local heroes from the community (firefighters, soldiers, etc.)
Everyone's looking for that elusive teen audience. Definitely something for me to address at our next summer reading workshop!