Monday, May 20, 2013

Brace Yourselves.

It's that time of year again. It's a time when we brace ourselves for the 8ish weeks of chaos, stress, and fun known as SUMMER READING. Someone posted this meme on the Internet not too long ago and I think it sums it all up perfectly:

No really...brace yourselves.

Ah yes...brace yourselves. 

Soon the library will be filled with a steady stream of excitable kids and parents looking to cash in those long reading hours for fabulous glory (and prizes from the Highsmith catalog). Our work days will just fly by as we struggle just to keep up with the madness. We will be tired. We will be cranky. We will get laryngitis from explaining the rules of the summer reading game for the umpteenth time. 

But despite all of that, we keep in the back of our minds that we are making a difference. We are getting those kids away from the television and video games and into the arms of their favorite book characters. We are saving them from the "summer slump". We are creating those lifelong readers. 

Anyway, that's what I'll be telling myself as I am cleaning up the children's room which looks like a hurricane blow though it. Again.
This is what it basically looks like every day during the SRP.

I always get a little tense right around this time of year. Our spring programming and storytimes are winding down, yet at the same time we are gearing up for a full slate of school visits. I adore visiting the schools. I geek out in my summer reading t-shirt (which always fits me like an awkward tent) and as I cross through the threshold of a class, I can sense their excitement that the "library lady" is here! I try my hardest to make the summer reading game and programming sound like the best thing since Dora or One Direction.

I pull out the instant prizes which, last year, included those finger trap things as well as uber-cool glow-in-the-dark frisbees. The kids "ooh'd" and "ahh'd" and I knew I had won them over. Then I tell a fun participation story to end things on a memorable note. This year, we'll be doing a rendition of We're Going on a Bear Hunt. I highly recommend the song  "Cool Bear Hunt" by Dr. Jean. Instead of the usual nature-inspired obstacles, one must traverse through a candy factory, a peanut butter river, and a Jello swamp. Very cool indeed. (Fun fact: I performed this song in the interview that landed me my current job!)

And then I head back to the library to brace myself for the influx of our community of summer readers.

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