Wednesday, June 11, 2008


So, yeah, we have summer reading clubs (SRC). It's not the kind of thing sibling and I would have been signed up for as kids, but many of my lib's peeps do start looking for it at the beginning of May. I don't know if SRCs didn't exist in the 70s, if we weren't joiners, or if Mom felt like The last thing we need in the house is more bits of paper stickers and random little prizes.

My library system does run a great club for teens. (That's middle schoolers and high schoolers: so many rising 6th and 7th graders seem to think I will get them in trouble for signing them up for the Teen Club. The Young Adult Services Committee -- like many similar groups at libraries everywhere -- specifically chose to call the club "teen" because we don't think anyone really relates to the term "young adult.") When a teen or her parent looks skeptical in response to the opening, Would you like to join our summer reading club?, it's easy to blurb the whole complicated process as "All you gotta do is keep an online list of either numbers of books read or the titles of each book, and keeping that list up to date automatically puts you in drawings for great prizes like pizza and movie gift certificates -- and even our grand prize of an MP3 player!"

I don't say it exactly the same every time, of course, like the time I must not have said "gift certificate," because the boy wanted to know how I was going to get the pizza to him, still hot!

We've been signing people (there are clubs for all ages) up since May, but this week the logging feature of the online lists went live. People can now type in what they read, and teens and adults can write book reviews. Yesterday, a newish patron, an energetic boy of 12 or so, made a beeline for a PC, opened up summer reading without a hitch, then zipped back over to me. "I want to write a book review but I can't spell the title!" Well, what is it? "The Tale of Despereaux." Damn, I did not say out loud: that's up there on my Top Titles I Cannot Spell list along with Fahrenheit 451 and The Metamorphosis . And, because OPACs suck, you need to have the spelling darn close to find the book. What I did say was, "Let me show you the notebook over here in YA with all this summer's reading lists in it." Oh yeah: good save.

Capital City weather: the heat wave that kept us over 100 broke last night, and we should linger in the 80s for several days. Whew.


Fran said...

Funny. Hearing about library summer reading programs always sends me back to the ones I belonged to in the summertime. Yes indeed. Sheets of paper. Little stickers for every book read. I can't vouch for all libraries, but the South Grafton Branch of the Grafton Public Library in Grafton, MA certainly had one every summer of my childhood.

Lisa said...

That's so funny! Long-time staffers love to complain about how tedious those little stickers were -- it's good to know someone has find memories of them.