Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Reading Club: Week 7 or - ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT -

See that drink there? I am waiting until the end of this week to indulge in a few because that means summer reading club is over and it's time to celebrate. But for now, here's how week seven stacked up.

We didn't get any new teen sign ups this week, so we're still at 114 teens participating this year in the summer reading club. I got a stack of registrations this week from one of the summer school teachers who had her class participate (something I think I might try more thoughtfully next year to do), and we're up to 335 youth signed up. We had another pre-reader sign up, and we were at 79 for that group. That brings us to a total of 527 participants for summer reading club. For what it's worth, I planned for 100 teens and surpassed that, and I planned for 45 pre-readers, and I also surpassed that. Color me thrilled. I'm more eager to see completion rates, which I'll know at the middle of the month.

Monday we had our regular Lego Club, with 15 people coming out. We had no internet for a period of time on Monday, and part of me wonders if that's part of why attendance for Lego Club's been down the last couple of weeks (we were internet-down last Monday, too).

Tuesday, which we called International Day, was a shot in the dark for me. I gave the responsibility for the program over to a coworker before summer started, and when she left for a new job, it was given to another coworker. I was in the dark mostly about what the plans were, but I trusted it'd work -- and I got quite an interesting shopping list of supplies, which in the end, only one of the things ended up being used (but we can always use tissue paper and gold wrapping paper later, at least). My coworker took the kids on a trip to England, where they got to learn a bit about the royal family, played a game of trying to make the soldier laugh, and then she took them to Peru, where they learned about the government, the rain forests, and the Inca. They got to make these beautiful Incan fans as their craft at the end. It was a nice program and kept the kids interested, and we had 54 come out. I was thrilled we could do it outside since the weather finally cooperated. This was the program where my intern finally understood what the strange stress of being a librarian was like -- as much as it's sort of a strange thing to say, I feel like this was an important moment for her to experience. I had gone inside to take care of something, and she was dropped into the program, wherein a mother approached her and another coworker and complained that we didn't have enough glue that worked for all of the kids. That was the straw, folks, but it was an important one to learn: you're never going to make everyone happy, and the things people will complain about are bizarre (because really, my small library having over 50 working glue bottles so each kid can have one . . .).

Wednesday was our last official Tween program of the summer, and when I told the kids that, they were really upset. They absolutely loved having a program of their own, and they have been rabid about making things. Perhaps it was the insanity of summer hitting me, but my program was Potato Art -- I gave the kids potatoes and knives and let them make stamps of the potatoes. Did you read that? I gave the kids knives. We only had one small nick, and the girl who did it was kind of the one I'd expect it from (and she was fine, bandaged it, and kept on carving). They had more fun carving designs than painting, which leads me again to think I could just hand them anything and they'd keep themselves entertained for an hour. We had 15 tweens out for the program.

Thursday was our last teen book club of the summer (officially -- the regular school-time program picks up again on the 18th) and this was where we did the thing with the balloons. So funny story: just earlier that day, my intern and I were talking about success with teen programming, since I'd seen it come up on one of the YALSA list servs. I told her I think any book discussion with at least 2 people is a success, and programs that bring out 5-7 are good, and anything above that is total gravy -- I've had a gravy of a summer, as it turns out, but more on that in a later wrap up post. I bring this up because this week's book club was on the small side, but it was just as successful to me as if we'd had 10 or 12 out, like we've had at some other book club meetings.

The summer mobile collection had its last day on Wednesday, and in the end, we checked out nearly 30 books, and we signed up 15 kids for summer reading club. There were also 21 entries into our prize drawings, meaning the kids were using it to do the program quite well. Though the numbers sound low, I'm quite impressed. We had no advertising of the mobile collection, and it gave me a real jumping off point for the future. Incorporating this sort of program is something I want to do more of, and I think I have reason to do so. Especially when it comes to getting kids participating with the library and getting our faces out there. I feel like I got to meet a lot of my patrons this summer through this program, which is important with this age group. This is something I'm going to talk more about later, too.

I just have to make it through this week, and I will be so, so happy. Plans for this week, besides surviving, include cleaning my office out and going on a shopping trip for supplies to replenish the waning stuff (and cash in on back-to-school sales).


  1. *nods* "Sometimes you have to share your glue" is an important lesson kids can learn at the library! (And yes, sometimes patrons complain about really weird things...)

    One more week! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  2. It wasn't the kid - it was grandma :)