Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting Ready for the Summer Reading Rush

Our annual Summer Reading Program starts on Monday, June 3, which means this past week has been a flurry of getting everything in order. Volunteers have been trained and scheduled. Early Literacy Calendars have been updated and printed. Summer Seek and Find characters have been assembled for their passive program duties. Materials have been organized. The last thing remaining for me to do is to really beef up our ready reference book lists for kids.

As is the case at many libraries, I work a shared reference desk. As a result, about 50% of the time the children's staffers are assisting with adult questions and adult staffers are assisting with children's questions. Not all staff read children's books, so I like to have ready-to-go resource lists to make sure kids get great reading suggestions regardless of when they visit.

This summer, my clipboard of resources includes a few key lists:

We also have state award nominee bookmarks at the reference desk, and we have Caldecott and Newbery lists within easy reach. My teen services staffer has also put together a binder with all our local schools' summer reading lists. All of these combined resources mean that reference staff have lists of great kid-friendly reads--and the books teens will be searching out for school--at their fingertips. Everything can be photocopied, and everyone can leave the library happy and with something to read. That's one of the best ways I can think of to promote a successful summer reading program.

What sorts of resources and book lists do you have ready to go at your reference desk?


  1. We have grade-level book lists (we make sure to tell patrons that these are just some of our favorite reads we recommend, not a list they HAVE to read for SRC or anything). And we updated our genre "endcap" displays, filling one side of our children's desk with suggestions for different genres: We pretty often get kids bringing the cover pictures up to us, asking for the book. :)

    1. I like that display strategy, Abby! We already have "cover cards" for our video games--the games are checked out a lot, and it's easier to browse what the library owns with the cards--so lots of customers know how to use them to place reserves. I'm going to have to brainstorm with my staffers how we can make this idea work for us.


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