Thursday, June 02, 2005

Summer Reading: More Difficult than Need Be

Say the phrase "Summer Reading Club" and most people will think back nostalgically to their youth, when they went to the (quiet and mostly empty) library, filled out a simple form, got a log, and submitted their log at the end of the summer reading time. Then they would be invited to the end of the program picnic and those who read the most books would get some sort of prize (for me it was a season pass to the local theme park - sweet!).

Fast-forward to today. Now the kids who come in to the library to use the computers (I suggested to one of them once that they read a book while waiting for a computer to free up - he looked at me like I had vomited on his shoe) are railroaded into signing up for the program by our very persuasive youth services person. So we at the reference desk are responsible for signing up all these kids. No problem, BUT...

Each participant can come in and report on the book(s) they have read each week and get a little prize. All of the other libraries in our system are having little programs each week, but we aren't because we are getting ready for the Big Move. We also have a halfway party and a final party for each of the 3 programs (pre-readers, the elementary school gang and the middle and high schoolers). I'm constantly flustered at trying to explain the logistics of reporting at our library, but doing the programs at another library, etc.

It's gotten a lot more complicated since I was a young 'un!

[An aside to my pet patron: we like it much better when you bring your nieces and nephews in.]

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