Winding Down or Gearing Up? Fall Months in a Public Library

After the Summer Reading Program Ends…

This year the teen summer reading program ended August 1st, giving the teens six weeks of reading and earning prizes and lots of programs to attend. I held about three programs a week. The rest of August is spent helping teens track down their summer reading books – at this point, most of the books are out, so it’s a struggle finding something they want to read and that’s on the list.

Once school starts, the library will be quiet until the afternoon when teens start coming in to use the computers. During the day, I’ll start inventorying the collection. Doing an inventory also counts as shelf-reading as I make sure everything’s in the right place. It also helps with weeding. I check to make sure the book’s circulated in the last three years. If not, then I make a decision to keep or toss that book. I don’t have extra shelf space and with all the great new books that keep coming out, I need all the room I can get.

That’s it for big fall projects. I spend the rest of my time ordering books, working on our social networking sites, and planning programs for fall, all while answering email or taking questions on the desk.

My Before-Summer To-Do List

After a few months pass, my summer binder of ideas comes out and I’m ready to start the process again – diving into the binder and Pinterest to see what the teens might like to do next summer.

Gearing up for summer is always hectic. I’m trying to do a million things at once and making sure all my bases are covered.

  1. Creating a poster for all the Summer Reading Programs

  2. Working with the schools to let the kids/teens know about the awesome programs (sometimes it’s going into each school, but this year, the Children’s Librarian and I worked with a School Librarian to create a 5 minute PSA about summer for each program)

  3. Send the poster to the schools to be printed and handed out to each student

  4. Publicize the programs through our social networking sites (scheduling them makes it easy)

  5. Having all the items on hand to make the programs happen

  6. Doing mock-ups of the program so I know what I’m doing when teaching the craft or creating the food.

  7. Buying Summer Reading Prizes

  8. Putting together the online reading software (this year we used Evanced)

  9. Training the staff who works at a desk about the Summer Reading Program and how to award prizes with the new software for when teens come into the library and I’m not there.

  10. Putting together the prizes in one location with clear defined areas for easy access

  11. Pulling together the finale program – baking, decorating, and making it fun for all those who attend

That’s the big stuff I’m need to get in place for NEXT summer. There’s also the day-to-day stuff of helping teens find their books for required reading, adding more time to the computer, and working at other desks as needed.

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