New Mexico State Library

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Summer Reading Survival Tips

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Every year at the end of the summer we ask librarians their tips, hints, tricks, suggestions for a successful summer. Many of the tips have to do with the planning part of summer but here are some of the tips to help you survive the next few months!

  • Go with the flow!
  • The little kids absolutely loved having their coloring sheets posted for everyone to see
  • Our Intern put music on during art and the kids were singing along. It was a real happy time!!!!!! Easy way to include music into Art!!! I think no matter what the theme is we should always include music and at in the programming!!!!
  • We used name tags for the kids so we can remember their names; it’s a plus to children.
  • Our library is very small and our town is very small. Our kids seemed to love the games we played indoors in our library.  They could be loud and were so surprised when I got loud with them!  We were doing a balloon race in the adult section between the racks when some travelers stopped in to look at our for sale books.  My assistant explained what was going on and they laughed explaining to her they were both retired teachers and how neat the children’s laughter was to hear!
  • Just make a fuss over little kids and praise them for reading.
  • Be flexible and focus on fun.
  • Before program starts, engage with the audience to keep them settled and allow the children to tell you about their reading or whatever. Helps them feel a part of the program. They were listened too not just “talked to.”
  • Do not trust Pinterest crafts/activities to work perfectly the first time!
  • Each week pull books on the subject of your story time and put them on a special table, easier for them to find and check out.
  • All I have is to have fun, enjoy the kids. Let them speak and be free. Let them do their projects and if the parents want to take over (especially with the lil ones, ask them nicely to stand back and let the kids make it their own! After all, it’s about them!
  • Always have a backup plan in case a guest performer cancels unexpectedly.
  • Don’t plan to have a relaxing summer!
  • Keep it simple.
  • Just to have as much fun with the program as you can. If the person putting the program together is enjoying what they are doing, that translates to the participants, and everyone benefits!

And my personal, tried and tested tip: have LOTS of chocolate (and/or caffeine) on hand! Good luck this summer!

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