Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Reading Club: Week 5

Week five is out of sight and out of mind. We're on to week six tomorrow, which means we've only got two more weeks of summer reading club.

Maybe what's scary is that I've already finished planning my fall programming and have plans sketched out through next March already. I'm ready for something new!

This week, our registrations continued to grow. We now have 107 teens signed up, 76 pre-readers signed up, and 307 youth signed up. That brings us to almost 500 total! I am so thrilled with the teen sign ups, in part because it's a huge number for our small town, it's more than double last year's numbers, and it's higher than the numbers I pulled at my previous library system which served a much larger population. I'm thrilled, too, to see such a large pre-reader sign up.

In terms of programming this week, our numbers were down quite a bit. I think there are a number of reasons for this, but I'm not going to be sad to say we still had good numbers.

On Monday, we had our Lego Club and it brought 20 kids out for fun! Their creations are getting more and more complicated and huge. The thing I think I love most about Lego Club, aside from the creativity it breeds and the excellent displays we get in the children's room because of it, is that it really gets kids to collaborate. They work together on making things, and I love seeing that.

On Tuesday, we had our last system-supported performers, and it was a folk band. I was a little nervous at first, but they ended up being excellent. Even I had a blast, since I knew most of the songs. One of the things that we're required to do for these programs is have a sign language interpreter. We used to have a staff member who did it, but after she left, we've hired a local company to do it (we're home to the state deaf school, so this is a population our library serves regularly). However, for these programs, we don't usually have deaf attendees; this week, we did! And the girl who came had a total blast, minus a complication she had when her younger sister began heckling the band and not listening to her. I had to do the gross adult thing and call her mom at the deaf girl's request to say the younger daughter wasn't behaving. I never got an answer from mom, but it was one of those moments where I felt like I had to be a real adult (and reminded me of the responsibility I have to my kids, too). We ended up having over 70 attend this program, which is lower than most Tuesday programs and was a little disappointing for me, especially because the band was fantastic.

Wednesday was our regular tween program, and we did beaded creations. I plan on blogging about this program since it was marvelously simple and fun. We had 15 tweens come out (again a low number), and the kids made all sorts of fun jewelry out of beads. The thing I love about this age group is that the attendance was 50/50 male/female. Boys don't care they're making jewelry at this age, and they have fun doing it.

Thursday was our teen book group, where we discussed Holly Black's White Cat. We also talked about programming ideas for the fall, and they're all stoked about the events. As much as this group is a book club, I use them as my advisory board, too, and it's so helpful to have it all in one, rather than having multiple groups. They enjoy telling me what sounds good and what sounds lame. At the end of this meeting, I pulled out a bag of ARCs and let the kids dive in, then I went up to the teen area with them and did individual reader's advisory with them. I know what kinds of books they like since I see them every other week, and I love sending them home with piles of books to read.

We continued our mobile collection this week, signing up 12 teens so far for the reading program, and lending out about 20 books. I cannot emphasize how thrilled I am this program is in play and working out as it is.

This week is probably the last very staff intensive programming week, but it's one I have been looking forward to all summer. I've amped up the tweens and teens for their separate chocolate parties (where they are going to get messy!) and we have our annual recycled fashion show. Of course, these outside events happen during the most sweltering week of heat we've had so far this summer -- which means they'll be three times as fun.

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