June 17, 2012

Summer is coming.

No, this isn’t some weird reference to Game of Thrones.  If you run a one-librarian library and have a summer reading program, that sentence can fill you with dread.

Planning for the Summer Reading Program


Plans for the Summer Reading Program*, henceforth known as the SRP, start in March.  No, that’s not true.  Plans are scribbled on bits of paper during the current SRP, things like “never hire this guy again” and “need more glowsticks”.

In March you start scheduling events.  In my library I like to have a special event almost every Saturday, a weekly craft time, a weekly story time, 4-5 teen events, a kick-off and a finale.  During the 8 week period we track kids reading and give out prizes and raffle chances for reading minutes.

While I have programs by others like magicians, dancers and so forth, when you have a tiny budget, you have a tendency to say “I’ll do it myself!”  That’s fine- to a point.  I have found myself working 6 days a week, long days, going from one event to the next.  I wanted to be as good as the big libraries.  You know, the libraries with three Children’s  Librarians  and a big event budget. Heh.  Every year the same thing happens.

So you are excited and thinking big in March.  You are tired of winter and the quiet and think- sure, I can do this and that and have this project and then make this…

In April, you try to finalize these exciting plans and perhaps add a few more.

In May, you start thinking maybe you bit off more than you can chew.  This is the time to make your personal plans for time off, and get them in the calendar- schedule that  vacation at the end of August now.  DELEGATE!  Share your plans with volunteers, the school, the Friends of the Library, people on the street…  get help and extra hands.  Get it in writing if possible.

In June, the panic sets in.  You’re doing all that?  Why on earth did you say you were doing that?  Now you go to the school and promote yourself and all your grandiose plans.

Then the clock is ticking… the last day of school rushes toward you like an oncoming truck.  As a combo librarian, admin and children’s, I have two lists.  One is my regular duties, and the other one is just SRP stuff.  The SRP stuff is filling an entire page.  Some of the things on my list are pretty funny, like I’m going to make a huge cardboard rocket.  This week.  Somehow.

So what I’m saying is, Summer is coming, so my life and my blog  are going to be a bit work-focused.

*What is the SRP? Events and incentives for kids and teens to encourage reading during the summer.  For more info, look at this.

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