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Friday, June 14, 2013

Ain't No Cure For The Summer Reading Blues

Last week, I had my very own little Summer Reading assistant. She (an extremely precocious 7-year-old) made the sign below and then, with a somber sense of professionalism, proceeded to walk around the children's floor with a clipboard, signing up other kids for the program. (I don't think she gave them much of a choice, to be quite honest with you. Subsequently, she got a lot of sign ups. So much for child labor laws!)
She also did the illustrations, saying to me: "The rabbit is a 'reading rabbit.' Get over it." SIR, YES SIR!

Yesterday she returned.
Kid: "I'm back. I'm going to do my job now."
Me (handing her the clipboard): "Okay. You're better at it than I am!"
Kid: "What do you expect? I'm a cute little girl, they love me."
Me (jokingly): "What are you trying to say, I'm not a cute little girl anymore?"
Me: "No, I'm saying you're not a LITTLE girl."

The truth hurts, my friends.

Anyway, even though we all love our jobs, summer is definitely a tough time for public children's librarians, especially if your library is short-staffed and under-resourced. I have no words of wisdom other than to say: like all the summers before, we WILL get through this one (although, unlike my little helper friend, I cannot necessarily promise that it will be fun. That's what bourbon is for).

Personally, I am going to try my best to have a positive attitude this summer (at least while AT the library), and think about the fact that summer reading actually is good for kids and we ARE making a difference, even in smalls ways, and even if we don't always know it.

Godspeed, librarians.


  1. Ah summer, when I and my fellow school librarians happily pass off all our students to you. Good luck and thank you, I will now take the summer off...

  2. Thanks for this funny post. I am in my last semester of Grad school @ University of Buffalo and in the fall I will student teacher for my MLS degree and ny state certification K-12 school library media (*sigh). I am currently writing a summer reading program for a local public library (any library, any town usa!). I was wondering what kinds of incentives you use to get children to reading during the summer - other than get a free at the end!
    Feel free to check out my blog http:www.candelightcalligraphy.net
    Looking forward to what you have to suggest...

  3. Our teen librarian and myself repeat this mantra when we're stressed: "All that matters is that children are reading!"

    It helps? Sometimes?

  4. It has been a super crazy start to summer! Two of our new programs (story and sing along for ages 1-5 and tween/teen crafts ages 10+) each doubled in attendance in a week!

    I told my fellow coworker, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." har..har..

    Happy Summer!

  5. I keep telling myself that in 30 days, I will no longer be doing anything related to summer reading, EVER AGAIN. Our big programs start next week, and it will be cray-cray in here until August. 200-300 kids every Tuesday and Thursday for our performers. 75-150 M/W/F for story times.

    30 days...

  6. Ah, summer reading programs! Your little assistant sounds awesome, if maybe a little overzealous.