As I confessed in my author blurb on the Oregon Library Association Children’s Services Division blog, I wrote four term papers on summer reading programs (SRP). During that time I amassed a hoard of research papers on summer reading! My dream is to help produce more, since 95% of public libraries offer summer reading, but there’s only been one true experimental study to my knowledge.
Here are the pieces I’ve found most useful in my literature reviews and papers on participation in, and the effectiveness of, summer reading programs.
This master’s thesis reviews articles in Library Journal and School Library Journal about summer reading. An early version of summer reading appeared in the 1890s, and programs quickly became popular, over time more closely resembling today’s with reading logs, programs for kids and teens, themes, and cooperatives. The review also highlights the beginnings of what are ongoing discussions in youth services: the roll of incentives (1944) and avoiding summer learning loss (1946).
Summer Reading 2019 is almost over, and before it ends, I want to share my favorite program of the summer: Paper Star Decor. The program drew a lively mix of 31 kids, young teens, and their family members.
Last winter I saw a video of how to make paper stars out of paper bags. I knew the craft could anchor a summer program, especially since we had the luck of celebrating “A Universe of Stories” for summer reading 2019. It fit right in with our space theme.
I offered three crafts to keep the program interesting for the whole family. Giant paper bag stars were the statement craft. I also included origami stars, which are much quicker, and precut stars for younger kids to decorate.
A version of this article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Voice of Youth Advocates.
I stumbled across a wax-sealed letter while cleaning up my childhood bedroom. It was addressed “To: Adult LindsayFrom: 9 year old Lindsay.”
I had no idea what it contained, but I had just graduated with aMaster’sdegree and moved back to Oregon to start my first librarian job, so I figured I was adult enough to open it. Inside I had written to myself,“I at this age am hoping to do something with a library when I grow up. But you of course know if I have done so because you are a grownup me…”
I’m entering my third year of being a librarian! That means I’ve got about two years of Spanish story time under my belt, and it really does get easier. Today went well because I remembered to hide the spaceship before story time (pro tip: spaceship tents are more interesting than anything you can plan), used a winning combo of story time songs, and selected fun and engaging stories.
I’ve learned most of what I know about collection development from hands on observation of selectors at work.
From those observations, I’ve learned collection development styles can vary a lot. As one data-driven selector told me, “Some people have a gut. I don’t.” Fortunately, circulation data and spreadsheets have allowed me to roughly approximate a gut.
Not every book I choose for story time is a winner. Sometimes they’re too long. Sometimes they don’t have enough excitement. My story time crew tends to be little – ones and twos – so toddler friendly picks are a must. (I save my favorite preschool titles for outreach!) Every book that meets the bar for repeating gets marked with a ‘y’ in my handy dandy Spanish story time planning spreadsheet.
Two recent ganadores just happen to make the perfect “lizard” story time! I’ll run with a theme when I can, but it’s more important to me that the books are great choices. (Jbrary has a great post on how to develop story time flow over story time themes. )
In October 2018, I was featured in a staff profile at my library. If you’re curious about what I do as a bilingual librarian, take a look at the interview originally published on the library’s website.