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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
    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.