Friday, September 4, 2009

Non-Summer Reading Programs

My mom likes to send me articles about kids' books and libraries...the following quote is from a newspaper story called "Helping a child choose good books" in the Knoxville News Sentinel this July.

Librarians will often try to make [looking for book suggestions] into a game, and it's one that parents can play as well. For example, you might ask your children to pick a children's book--any book--from a top shelf of the library....Another possibility: have your child head to a library bookshelf, close his eyes, choose three books at random from that shelf and then choose one to read.

These two examples come from my library's summer reading program....We also have bookmarks with various reading choices [listed on them]. Some examples: "read a book with a red cover," "read a book int eh 800-899 section of the library" and "read a book that shows you how to make or do something and then make or do it." Kids roll a pair of dice and choose a book that corresponds to the same number on the bookmark.

We do occasionally get questions from parents during the year if we have a reading program for the fall, or the spring. (Douglas County Libraries run a program every season in part because of the high number of year-round schools in their area.) I think it would be fun to think of developing a couple of different, easy to implement "programs" for our fall and spring "semesters." Maybe we could print up a Genre Bingo Card for the fall and a bookmark with crazy choices for the spring ("read a book with an author whose last name starts with Z").

Maybe we could move Summer Showdown to another season and adapt it? What did you guys think of Summer Showdown? Any comments or ideas?


Elisabeth said...

I am a Douglas County patron and we participate in the year round reading programs. They are super low-key and slightly under the radar(you kind of have to search them out) but worthwhile.
I think it would be fun to do a Bingo type game or scavenger hunt during another time of year at our libraries. I personally thought the Summer Showdown was fun, but I really don't think the patrons got it. I had many come up to me upset, thinking that the paper saying "voted off" meant we banned the book from the library! Also, I really think a lot of our younger patrons thought they were supposed to vote FOR the book they liked instead of voting it OFF.
Have we ever done a Mock Caldecott or Newbery program? That might be kind of fun too!

Melissa said...

Elisabeth, I think you are right on target with your critique of Summer Showdown! The "vote off" concept was my idea...I saw it at another library...and it seemed like it would help us avoid the Battle of the Books setup, where two books have to go head to head in a NCAA type bracket. However, it was a little tricky to explain. Help us brainstorm a better way to do it next summer!

As it happens, there will be two kinds of Caldecott programs in January: several libraries will have donna g's Caldecott Collage, where you read Caldecott books that use collage for illustrations, then make your own; and other libraries will host a Mock Caldecott book club thing, where we booktalk our Caldecott Hopeful list and families can vote for their favorite in the online poll.