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#767315 - 06/09/12 08:16 AM Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs?
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
Every summer, libraries across the United States take part in "summer reading programs" for children, teens, and adults. Do you participate? Why or why not?

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Christine Sharbrough
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#768274 - 06/15/12 12:12 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Dianne W - Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Wolf

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 5385
Loc: Virginia
My kids particpated when they were younger. They would win the little prizes/coupons for reading xx number of books. As they grew older, they lost interest, even though the library tried to make it exciting for teens.

The systems administrative offices are in the lower level of one of the regional libraries. I have stopped going upstairs during my breaks because it's wall to wall kids.

I don't mind the kids, just the ill-behaved ones and the loud obnoxious parents who seem to want everyone to hear them fussing at their kids.
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#768281 - 06/15/12 12:31 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
VintageGS Offline
Wolf

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 5289
Loc: Kansas, USA
My kids did it when they were younger and really enjoyed it. My daughter volunteered at the library last summer during the reading program and that led to her getting hired for the part time student position! There are only about 30 kids total participating in the program this year but the librarian is happy with that number.

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#768343 - 06/15/12 07:16 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Dianne W - Editor]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
There are so many other things happening with teens, that the library quickly becomes irrelevant for them. We generally have about 50 kids participate in the teen summer read. That is quite a drop-off from several hundred who participate in the children's one.

This year, after a several year absence, we are doing an adult summer reading program. So far we have more than a dozen people signed up. We are promoting it as a family summer read. So far, it has been well received.
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Christine Sharbrough
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#768344 - 06/15/12 07:19 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: VintageGS]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
Thirty kids can be a great number depending on the community and the type of public library involved. Libraries that are in large cities are often more likely to have larger programs, not because of population, but because most people work in the city in which they live.

Smaller towns in rural areas tend not to have high attendance at any program because they are commuter libraries. People leave the community to go to work and do not find the time to come to the library after a long commute.
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Christine Sharbrough
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#768358 - 06/16/12 12:35 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Nicki - BF & EC Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 602
I'm very torn about these programs. My instincts are to avoid programs that apply external rewards for learning (or really any "desired" behavior). Studies show that when you reward kids for behaviors like reading, that it becomes about the rewards, not about the reading, and when the reward goes away, so does the behavior. (See Alfie Kohn's "Punished by Rewards.)

That said, my kids love to read, so it's never been an issue. I may explore this for an article in Early Childhood. Thanks for the inspiration!
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#769075 - 06/19/12 08:01 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Vi - Blogs/Small Office Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 1272
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'll have to check that out Nicki, thanks for sharing.

We did decide to do the program this year, only because we need to get in the habit of using the library as a resource instead of purchasing books. My oldest daughter is pretty good and likes going to used book sales and thrift shops but for the younger two I thought it would be nice to get them out and about weekly to the library. We have a summer series of kid's activities, so thought it wouldn't be bad to try the program as an added summer benefit.
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#772015 - 07/08/12 06:01 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Vi - Blogs/Small Office]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
One of the benefits of the library is its ability to showcase a variety of subjects and ideas. Libraries make you think. I am forever shelf browsing and finding books on topics I did not know existed. For kids, the library can be a fun place to go and have them "try out" books without the expense of purchasing.

I am always gratified to see kids on their first trip to the library. Their expressions of wonder that all these books are theirs for the taking never fails to make me glad I do what I do.
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Christine Sharbrough
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#772020 - 07/08/12 07:08 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Heidi - Reading Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 129
Loc: Pacific NW
All four of my children have been involved in summer library programs over the years. This year my two youngest are participating. Our library program rewards children by placing their name on a wall once they have achieved the hourly goals, and giving books as "prizes". The children also get to put their name in a jar to win a gift card to our local independent bookstore. I like these programs because they keep children reading over the summer. Parents (or babysitters, nannies, day care programs) put it on their busy summer schedules to go to the library, talk to their kids about what they are reading, and perhaps even read some of the books aloud with their child. I am tutoring 14 students over the summer and requested that they all sign up for the program. Many of my students HATE reading, but doing this program opens up conversations about finding enjoyable books, and keeps kids who would never choose to read if they weren't in school reading on a regular basis. I also like the reward system - it's the external "hook" that motivates some kids to consider signing up. In the end, the kids like the program because they enjoy going to the library with their parents, spending time with great books, and feel good about achieving a goal they weren't sure they could meet. (our library goal is 10 hours over the summer)
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#773196 - 07/16/12 05:49 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Heidi - Reading]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
I love the idea of a gift card to an independent bookseller. I think libraries partnering with other businesses in the community is a great idea. Independent booksellers are a community treasure and should always be supported. Sadly, there are not many left.

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Christine Sharbrough
Painting Editor

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#773197 - 07/16/12 05:51 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
Just a bit of an update -- our teen program is fast approaching one hundred participants -- largely because one of the activities is filming a horror movie. The librarian dies - no surprise there. Also, we have been marketing the adult summer read to the parents who visit the library with their children and we have almost 40 participants this year. It's been wonderful to see!
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Christine Sharbrough
Painting Editor

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#773204 - 07/16/12 08:02 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Sadhana ~ Indian Food Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 1438
Loc: USA
I'm super lucky, our local library is great -- very active & busy! They have a great summer reading program for younger elementary kids & host book clubs for middle & high school kids (I hear they are packed too!).

We also have been doing the B&N summer reading program for years, where you get a free book after you have read 8 books.

Personally, I love book clubs. I belong to a local one & also an online one. Unfortunately, summers are too crazy busy for me -- I wasnt able to participate this month & struggled to finish the June selection.
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#773209 - 07/16/12 08:33 AM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Nicki - BF & EC Editor]
Nick - Southeast USA Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 06/18/12
Posts: 141
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Nicki - BF & EC Editor
Studies show that when you reward kids for behaviors like reading, that it becomes about the rewards, not about the reading, and when the reward goes away, so does the behavior. (See Alfie Kohn's "Punished by Rewards.)


I think many studies end up with results that the researcher wants to find. Of course it makes sense that people, including children, will do something they don't care for as long as they are rewarded for it. Then, if the rewards go away, so does the behavior. I also believe that you are either a reader or you're not. If you're a reader, you either know it or you don't. Just like trying new foods or anything else new, sometimes you need an incentive.

A true reader doesn't need an incentive to do something they love. However, if you can do something you enjoy and get something out of it at the same time, why not?

Your mileage may vary.
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Nick Greene
Southeast USA

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#773963 - 07/19/12 03:03 PM Re: Do you participate in Summer Reading Programs? [Re: Christine - Painting Ed]
Christine - Painting Ed Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Amoeba

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 75
Loc: New Hampshire
Hi Nick --

I agree with you -- why not score points or free books or whatever for doing something you love to do anyway. For the kids, however, the real deal is avoiding the "summer slide" where their reading skills go down if they do not read during the 10-week break.

The new graphic novel formats make reading "fun" for those who may not otherwise do so.
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Christine Sharbrough
Painting Editor

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