It’s that time of year, folks.
Summer Reading is about to consume my every waking moment.
Well, not quite yet. The panic doesn’t officially begin until May 1st when I claim no responsibility for anything I say or do until after Summer Reading. THEN it’s time to panic.
Planning for SRP is a year round event. Even when it’s no where near Summer, you’re still thinking about SRP. You may come across a Pinterest craft in October that will be perfect for SRP. A book that comes in in March will be just what you need for an SRP Storytime. A parent will ask you in January when SRP starts.
And for some of us lucky few, we get to plan a program for multiple branches (six to be exact). Six times the prizes, six times the paperwork, six times the programming, and six times the
Here’s how my planning breaks down (our program runs from June 1st to August 1st, and we use the Collaborative Summer Library Program, for reference):
-CSLP disc and catalog is shipped to us from the State Library.
-We (the adult librarian, teen librarian, and I) go ahead and place an order for prize/staff t-shirts, prizes, and posters immediately. As it gets closer to Summer, they do run out of some of the materials, so we like to make sure we get what we want. We have the numbers from past Summers for reference in terms of how much to order.
-Begin looking through files on the disc to get ideas. I will print out certain portions of the manual because it’s easier for me to look through it. I flag any programming ideas that appeal to me
-Begin looking for a kick-off event. We host a big kick-off event for the whole family at each of our six branches for SRP. I typically start getting fliers/advertisements from different vendors in January. I just like to get this done and out of the way ASAP.
-Look for an intern. My library is fortunate to be a hop, skip, and a jump from a university with a Department of Library and Information Sciences. Without someone to help out during the Summer, there is NO WAY we could have programming at our branches- end of story. Interns gain real-world programming experience by doing these programs for me. Fun fact: I started my library career at the library I’m working at as the Summer Reading Intern.
-New books. Publishers are very in tune to what we’re doing for Summer Reading. About this time of year, there are (conveniently) a TON of new books that will be perfect for this year’s theme, whatever it may be. Time to stock up!
This finishes up the preliminary Summer Reading plans. March is when things really go into high gear…..