Posted in Career, Programming, Youth Services Librarian

Summer Reading… er, Summer Programming!

We’re halfway + a week into Summer Reading in my county (which only runs June & July because most families travel in August) and here’s a quick recap in the form of those superlatives that were added to your high school yearbook.


Most Attended Program

NC Zoo presents Animal Sound Bites – 130 attendance

The NC Zoo program is a staple in our county’s summer reading offerings. Most, if not all, of the libraries offered the program. I scheduled mine for the last Friday in June as a sort of halfway-finale. There was huge turnout (don’t worry, our auditorium fire code is 140, we could have totally gotten another 10 people in there!), including a couple of summer camp groups who walked or rode over from their locations. There was an owl and a snake and some hissing cockroaches. The kids had a blast and got to pet a snake at the end! My main concerns were the number of people vs. the volume of my presenters and the program ran a bit long, so the kids started to get antsy. It was a huge success, though, and for my first summer reading, we’ll call it lesson learned (get microphones set up next time!!).


Most Exhausting Program

Music and Movement – average 40 attendance

Ok, this one is a bit of a cheat because it’s a program I do during the school year as well, but the highest attendance in June was 53! That’s a lot of people to do toddler cardio with. Music and Movement is 30min of songs like Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Run Baby Run, etc. I affectionately refer to it as toddler cardio because that’s what it feels like to me. 53 is not my highest attendance (looking at April’s last M&M with attendance of 90), but with that many kids I tend to move from commenting on the songs (with things like, LOOKING GOOD GUYS) to shouting the instructions over the music (I SAID FREEZE!!! NO SHAKERS OR MARACAS PLEASE). Commenting is a lot easier, of course, because I’m also trying to demonstrate the movements while I’m shouting encouragement, but the kids always have such a blast with the songs. (If you want to know what songs we do, here’s a link to the playlist I used Spring 2018!)


Most Surprising Program

Young Yarners – 35 attendance

My attendance for this age group (6-11 years) is usually…. three. And those three are usually kids already in the library and I’m like “HEY COME DO THIS THING WITH ME.” So when I had thirty five people (this includes adults and littles) come to this program I was… NOT. READY. The kids had a blast and the moms in attendance were very gracious about how underprepared I was. We’re a small library in a small community, so adults with kids tend to be more forgiving of me saying “Well, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting this, but I will do my very best to help!” I had one girl end up with a gaggle of other kids showing them how to crochet and at least two kids who wanted me to help them learn to crochet, only they were left-handed. But, everyone seemed to have a good time and it might be a program I add into the school year schedule.


Well, those are the three programs I wanted to highlight. Even though I also offer teen programs, they’re so sparsely attended (of the two programs, a total of 9 attendance) they frequently end up cancelled. Teens are often doing other things during the summer, sleeping, working, etc. I didn’t go to the library as a teen, so I can’t really fault them.