• A Quick Thought on Summer Reading

    by  • February 24, 2014 • Uncategorized • 2 Comments

    This morning I sat in on a conversation between some of the best teen librarians in our area, eavesdropping as they talked about how burned out they feel about summer reading programs. The consensus in the room where teen services librarians from our 54 local public libraries had convened was that they know the kids are, in large part, reading, but it is really hard to get them to participate in a summer reading club, and to make those programs carry real, meaningful value for that age group.

    Meanwhile, I had just been having a conversation about how the mission of libraries these days isn’t really about promoting reading, but promoting Learning (with reading being one of the avenues through which one can learn). The buzz is all about Lifelong Learning, which is something we can encourage within our communities in many different ways, not just through the promotion of reading.

    The question I found myself asking as I put these two conversations together was this:
    “Why, then, are we having Summer Reading Clubs and not Summer Learning Clubs?”

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    2 Responses to A Quick Thought on Summer Reading

    1. Carla Ehrenreich
      March 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      I’m at San Jose State right now and taking a gamification course where I’m wondering if there is a way to make a summer reading game, that captures all that is so compelling about playing a good game. It’s tougher than I first thought :)

      • Emily
        March 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

        Definitely not an easy or simple task, although the idea is a great one. I’ve heard lots of people talking about incorporating a badging system into their Summer Reading Programs, but I don’t know who might be doing that as of this time. I’ve monkeyed around a bit with badges for achievements, but while it’s not hard to set up in isolation, there’s a lot that would have to go into incorporating it into an overall program interface. I’d be interested to see what people start to come up with!

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