Summer Reading Program Plans

Summer is usually the busiest season for the public library, a fact that surprises no Youth Services librarian. This is my sixth Summer Reading season at a public library, though only my second in charge of the programing for the entire branch. Programming and planning these events are one of my favorite parts of my job, though I will freely admit that the summer is draining, and short staffing makes it difficult to find any down time.

Since I work in a branch that is part of a county library system, the theme is decided centrally, both the overall program theme and the bi-weekly programs. They even schedule programmers and send lesson plans, like with storytime. Around this time of year, I pull up the plans and start working out how we’ll take the plans and bring them to life. It starts with deciding the focus and brainstorming.

The overall theme is One World, Many Stories, and here are the weekly themes they have selected for the Children’s SRP, and what I have so far as for execution of the theme. Any ideas would be enthusiastically welcomed. Of course I’ll post further details of each program when we actually carry them out.

  • Week One: The Stories we Tell: Featuring a storyteller arranged by the youth services department, and crafts that might include making flannel boards and pieces to tell stories at home.
  • Week Two: Away We Go: Featuring geography games, map crafts, and some suitcase relays.  This is a work in progress.
  • Week Three: How We Live: Featuring my mother, who has been to almost 100 countries talking about markets, market places, and how food is prepared around the world. With pictures of her travels to all 7 continents. I’m still thinking of a craft to go with this, something food related, and we’re going to have an assortment of dried fruit for snack.
  • Week Four: Global Citizens: The availability of fresh drinking water is of great importance to kids all over the world, we’ll read some folk tales about water, learn about how some kids spend all day walking to get water, and about the importance of conserving water and accessing it. We’ll have water relay games, where kids have the chance to find out how hard it is to carry water, and work to move water over distances. I’m not sure what kind of craft to do, or if we need to do one.
  • Final Party: Guest Performer/Activity: I’m not firm on this one, but I think for the final party I’m going to try and book a performer to do an African Drum circle outside on the lawn. We’ll also have some crafts, and the handing out of the final prize for the summer reading program.

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