From what I’ve heard and read, a lot of YA Librarians panic when they think about the Summer Reading Program booklets, brochures, and programming. Teens are out of school and need things to do, unlike during the school year when umpteen different events and activities keep them so busy they can’t attend our awesome programs. What is it about planning our summer programming that feels so different? Maybe it was just me, but putting together a SRP brochure and list of events initially felt like an overwhelming task.
This is only my second Summer Reading Program as a YA Librarian, and last summer I came in (mid-June) to a program that had already been created and arranged for me. There were a few events and a well-done teen SRP brochure put together by my director as she had realized just before the summer started that the previous YA Librarian hadn’t made one before they left earlier that year. Props to my director, because she put together a brochure that worked well and got quite a large number of teens involved.
However, when I heard about the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s (CSLP) 2016 theme – “Get in the Game – READ” – I knew what had to be done this summer. I’m a diehard gamer – board, video, and tabletop – and being able to play to my strengths was a great way to tackle my first SRP. Get it? Tackle?
I’m sorry. That was a horrible pun…t.
Instead of focusing on the sports and fitness CSLP theme, we went gaming for our summer programming – board games, tabletop games, video games, and game-related movies. Our Friends group got us a Wii U and a new projector for gaming tournaments, as well as Pandemic: Legacy, a fun board game in a new format. I set up Throwback Thursday Movie Nights with WarGames and Tron, as well as a Fandom Trivia Night and Snowball Fight (with marshmallows) in the Library. Gaming tournaments would include Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U with tournament brackets and awesome prizes
Of course, the SRP brochure had to be game-themed to go with the rest of our programs and our new board game collection. The brochure wasn’t going to be bingo, stamps, and a reading log this year. Not that there’s anything wrong with those at all – we’ve done them before and we’ll do them again – but this theme was right up my alley. It was time for something new, and it’s like I’d been training my whole life – one controller at a time – for this moment.
Below are images of the inside and outside of our Teen SRP Brochure:
I wanted to create a unique experience for our teens without going too deep into a role-playing game (RPG) styled brochure. There are elements of pen-and-paper RPGs – creating a character and their stats – as well as elements from massively multiplayer online RPGs, like World of Warcraft, with repeatable quests and achievements. Some promote reading (120 minutes per week, reading intimidating books or multiple genres) while others promote attending teen programming at the library. I’m a big fan of measuring reading time rather than the number of books or pages read. Reluctant readers and individuals that have difficulty reading seem to be far more intimidated by the number of books a brochure says they have to read than they are by a time amount.
I also wanted to ensure that all of our events were on the brochure since it seems like teens are a lot less likely to lose the thing that gets them prizes as opposed to the monthly event calendar I hand out. Prizes are tiered and themed as much as they can be, and we have so many prize books to give away that I wanted to make sure that, with a modicum of effort, each teen could get two books by the end of the summer.
The link below should allow you to download the Publisher file with the brochure I’ve created. Feel free to use it and customize it however you want. I hope that this helps you promote gaming in your library and give your teens a fun, unique SRP experience! Game on!
2016 Teen SRP Brochure – Get in the Game – READ!