Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Check Outs and Summer Library Hours!

     My role is all about getting kids to read and keeping them reading. It simply doesn't make sense to close up the library for the summer. All those books sitting and waiting for the children to come back... So sad for the books and the children. Why not do things a little differently? 

I decided to try Summer Check Outs with my students for the first time.

I ordered bags from Demco: 

This has been done before by our sister school, Founders Memorial School, as well as other neighboring districts. It was time to try it ourselves.

A letter went home in late May giving families the option of not participating. During the last week of school, each class came to choose their 5 summer books. Each student received a bag for their books, plus a print-out of their checkouts.  
2nd graders with their bags o'books!
But why stop there with summer checkouts?  Why not be open during the summer? Our principal, Peter Farrell, approved my proposal. Letters went home advertising our hours. It was posted on our website, and we used a sandwich board on the roadside to advertise.


     The school library was open for six weeks on Wednesdays. I choose an early opening time to accommodate parents who might stop by on their way to dropping off their children at camp. Each week we had between 30-40 children and parents stop in, which was pleasantly surprising. I had so much fun! It was a great time to get to know the parents and younger siblings better, talk about summer plans, and even what adult books were being read.

     I think it would be worthwhile to do this again next summer. However, what I would really like to see happen for the community of Essex is the establishment of a book mobile that would bring books right into the hands of children who cannot make it to the public library or our school.