Do you guys know about CYS-Lib? It's an email listserv for people working with children in Colorado public libraries.
There's been a great conversation on it recently about whether or not libraries should hand out prizes (and if so, what kind, and how much should we spend) for kids who participate in summer reading programs.
This is a perennial discussion topic! There are those of us who feel that if we hand out prizes for reading then we aren't encouraging the right attitude--that reading should be its own reward.
But there are those of us who feel that while kids who are already readers will read regardless, kids who aren't "natural readers" or who struggle with reading really do respond to the challenge and reward of prizes for achievement.
There are others of us in the middle ground--okay with prizes, but looking to place them in a context that includes our "whole package" of programs, books, information, hangout spots, etc. and also looks to include other types of rewards. Some libraries make donations to charities for every hour or book kids read past their required reading, for instance.
What do you think about all this? Leave us a comment! Your Summer Reading Program Committee is listening!
If you'd like to sign up to receive the CYS-Lib emails, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave your subject line blank and in the message body, write the two-line message:
If you'd like to see what some of the discussion has been, let me know and I'll round them up to share.