So we are 2 weeks into Summer Reading, and man-o-man does it get crazy up in here! I’d like to try to make post as brief as possible, but we’re a little SRC crazy in this library, so wish me luck…
Pre-Readers and Readers
SRC runs for 8 weeks. Our theme is “One World, Many Stories”. Every year we offer 2 separate games one for the little ones (Read-to-Me Game), and one for the big kids (Reader Game). We have 2 separate larger-than-life board games. The actual game is run by a cadre of kid volunteers (Gr. 8-HS) who are recruited and trained by Ms. Sarah (School Liason) and Ms. Debbie (librarian).
Since the line between pre-reader and reader is a bit blurry, we leave it up to the parent/kids to make the choice. In the end it often comes down to how the prizes are earned (# of books for pre-readers and hours spent reading for readers). All participants are welcome to play the game more than once a week (as much as once a day).The program is open to everyone, residents and non-residents alike.
When they come in to register they fill out a short form (the same one for Readers and Pre-readers), and bring it to a the YSD desk. Often this is when they choose which game to play. We explain the game and give them their logs. Pre-readers get their log and a box of crayons for the coloring sheet on the back. Readers get their log and a small muslin bag to hold their tokens.
All finishers receive the same bundle of prizes:
- paperback book
- bunch of coupons for stuff to do around town
- ticket (for the whole family to a special SRC celebration play at the end of the summer (This year: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
- NPLD SRC Star Reader lawn sign OR window cling
- Their name on our SRC Star Reader Wall o’ Fame
For the Little Ones…
The Read-to-Me game is for emergent readers. The goal is that someone (parent, caregiver, sibling, relative, etc.) read at least 50 books to him/her.
Every time they read 5 books, they can come in and play the game. They win a prize every time they play, but on the 2nd visit in the same week they get a secondary prize (a sticker or tattoo). There are 7 different prizes (a new one each week). The 8th week we have a mish-mosh of all pre-reader prizes (all left-over prizes from this and all previous years).
The Read-To-Me game is developed every year by our amazing pre-school liason, Clara Sheffer. The designs are produced by the PR department. They have all really outdone themselves this year!
When the child come in to play the game, they get their 5 books stamped and recorded. They choose from one of 6 activities. Here are some pics:
Not pictured: go through the tunnel (collapsable play tunnel)
For the Big-uns…
The SRC Reader game has a very special mascot:
When readers sign up they receive a log and token bag:
Readers have to keep track of the time they spend reading. They cross off a circle for every 15 minutes they spend reading. The hour markers in boxes. They must read a minimum of 10 hours to finish, after that they can continue to play using “bonus logs”. They earn a token for every hour that they read for the first 10 hours, and 1 token for every 3 hours they read after that. Tokens can be exchanged for prizes at our SRC store.
The kids bring their log to a volunteer who awards them their tokens, and stamps the log. Then they take a turn on the board game.
As you can see the game board is a huge hexagonal “globe”. This year we’ve introduce 3 new supporting characters, (Glummy’s 3 little alien buddies: Pikaso, Noodles (see Northern Canada in the picture above), and Grobbins). They are like the game pieces, and they each follow their color-coded path around the world. The kids choose one of them, and every time they play the game they use that “character” as a game piece. The white circles are spaces on a path, and they give instructions like “go 2 spaces forward” or “you’ve won token!” The readers roll the big die, and move from space to space along the path. I think that pretty much covers it.
All in All
SRC is by far our Youth Services Dept’s biggest, most elaborate project of the year. It’s an all-hands-on-deck affair. Our wonderful Program Coordinator/Assistant Supervisor, Shelley Sutherland oversees the entire process, but everyone takes at least one, but more often 2 major roles in the planning process. (e.g. this year I did the Online version of the game and the prizes.) But the planning is only part of the work that goes into it. We get insanely busy during the summer. During the 2 months of SRC, we increase the amount of time each member of the staff spends on the YSD reference desk from 2hrs/day to 4hrs/day. And most of the time we’re slammed the entire shift on the desk. The other day I set the timer on my ipod to clock the amount of time I spent without a patron interaction. During a 4hr desk shift the amount of time added up to just under 13 minutes. It gets a little overwhelming at times, but I do actually enjoy the craziness. Especially this year. I spent so much time in bed due to my cancer treatment that I feel like I’m making up for lost time. Plus I think the timing was perfect, because I started feeling back to normal energy-wise around May 25. Before that, I don’t think I would have been able to handle it.
My boss (YSD Supervisor/Assistant Library Director, Susan “Super-Librarian” Dove Lempke, posted about the “onslaught” on opening day.
Due to a big storm last night, we had a power outage today around noon, so we had to close early. I have a drop-in storytime tomorrow morning, so I hope we’re open!