Summer Reading Programs

Summer Time, and the living is easy.

Unless you are a children’s or teen services librarian in a public library.

Summer Reading Programs can be a tough time for librarians: it’s a busy time, with lots of prep work. There are all sorts of demands, and expectations, and stresses. It can be frustrating; and it can be rewarding.

I originally began writing a post about how these hard working librarians get “should” on a lot, about what they should and should not be doing for Summer Reading, and how that adds to all the stress, but as I wrote and rewrote it just wasn’t working. Sometimes a post is like that.

So I took a step back, realizing the post wasn’t working because I didn’t know what I wanted to say, not really. And then my thoughts came together:

One thing that can help during Summer Reading is the support and feedback from peers. And, no, I’m not talking about other children’s and teen librarians.

I mean the other staff in libraries; and our library colleagues on line. I can remember doing a successful program, feeling pretty darn good about it, getting positive comments from the kids and their patrons, only to have other staff complain about the noise, the mess, and the kids, and wow, weren’t they looking forward to September!

Let me tell you, that’s not a great feeling. Oh, I can understand their feelings; and there is nothing wrong with those feelings; but please, don’t say it to me, and don’t say it where I can hear you. Because that? That’s pretty discouraging. It’s also discouraging to read that from my library peers online, on social media.

I’m sure we could all share such a story. But I’m still in the glow of Show Me The Awesome, so I want to make this positive.

What are some of the great things that other library staff (in your library, personally, or on line) have done to help during Summer Reading?

What are some of the things your library has done to create a supportive environment so that we’re not complaining about each others programs?

Or, what other thoughts do you have so that Summer Reading is about the whole library,  not just one department?