February was all about Summer Reading Programs, here’s what we talked about.
Week One: Ten Questions about Summer Reading Framework
There were a lot of similarities across the board from those who answered. This is how the answers broke down
- Time Frame: 8 weeks running in June and July
- Counting: Books. Only one person mentioned hours.
- Online vs paper: about even, with paper records just a slight bit ahead.
- Completion goals: Anywhere from 5 – 10 books. In one case, teens were allowed to set their own goal and strive towards that.
- Success: Most seemed to answer that success was based on how many teens completed and if it was higher than the previous years. A couple mentioned that success was based on how happy their patrons where with the program.
- Marketing: Most everyone advertises in-house as well on their various social media pages. Several also send information to the school.
- Outreach: While advertisement is sent to the school, not everyone actually does school visits. This one was split down the middle.
- Age Division: Everyone said that teens were in their own program. The starting part for teens was either 6th or 7th grade.
- SRP New or Not?: Again this was split about evenly. While some have run their programs as is for many years, others have seen changes either do to county requirements or to make things easier.
- Changes: There were several comments about having more money for bigger prizes as well a way to do online entries and to make it more visual.
Week Two: Summer Reading Prizes
Four TSU Agents talked about how they set-up their prizes. It was interesting to read how similar, yet different the set-ups were. Everyone offered tangible prizes with a grand prize and/or a party at the end of the summer. Along the way they either had weekly drawings or tier-prizes teens could earn.
While we didn’t get reader comments, there was a Facebook discussion just before we posted this on what kind of grand prizes to offer. There were a ton of good suggestions from gift cards to tablets to keeping it simple. I highly recommend checking out the thread if you’re looking for ideas.
Week Three: Summer Reading is Taking Over My Life!
TSU Agent, Linda, challenged us to think about Summer Reading Program in a different light. Why do we spend so much time and effort into SRP? Many libraries treat it as the most important thing, but is it really? Literacy and programming is just as important in Spring, Fall, & Winter. Linda invited us all to step-back and see how we can take that SRP enthusiasm and spread it out to make our time/efforts/programs balanced all year long.
Thank you to all who participated this month! We hope this conversation will continue even as this month ends. Next month we’ll be focusing on Pop-Culture in Libraries.