May 12, 2020

The Desk Set

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So I’m about halfway through the summer, another month to go, and I think maybe, possibly, finally, we are hitting our stride.

My teens seem to get the new system. While at first I had to bring out the Summer Reading binder with their charts and handed them tickets for the weekly raffle at each program, they now ask to do it themselves. I’ve even seen teens come in and grab the binder themselves and get their own tickets when there aren’t any programs running! I feel pretty proud of this. Since this is the first Summer Reading program the teens have done on their own, I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go.

I wish I had some statistics to share; librarians love statistics right? (Or maybe that’s just me.) I won’t have any numbers for a while but the fact that I have teens regularly showing up each week to programs makes me really happy.

I’m not sure how the reading portion is really going. I decided to go with a reading log suggested by the collaborative summer reading program. It involves a bingo-like square with boxes that the teens check off. Each box has a way for them to participate in the summer reading program like “read for one hour” or “attend a library program.” For each square that they check off, they receive a raffle ticket for our weekly prize raffle. The more things they do, the more chances to win our prizes (mostly donated gift certificates from local businesses and copies of YA ARCs). I haven’t had a chance to parse out how many hours the teens are reading yet, but I am impressed with how quickly the teens have gotten used to filling out their charts each time the come to the library.Maybe I just have pretty low standards but I’m calling Summer Reading a success already!

And so it’s the end of the month. July went by so quickly! I turned around and before I knew it Summer Reading had been ticking over smoothly for a couple weeks and I realized I needed to start planning the finale!

While the Summer Reading program won’t end for another month, for the teens, the big finale will be an after-hours party in the middle of August.

Early on I decided I wanted to do a Mortal Instruments movie release party. I knew the movie was coming out in the summer (Aug 23rd!! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in line at the theater) and I also knew that many of my teens have read the book, The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

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I thought a release party would be the perfect way to tie in the summer reading theme Beneath the Surface and reading and current pop culture. We’re going to dress up as our favorite characters, eat pizza and drink cool colored drinks (like Magnus has at his parties). We’re going to make our own glitter rune tattoos; some Team Jace/Team Simon buttons, and compete in a City of Bones trivia contest for movie tickets. I’m hoping it will be a success. So far, I have one teen signed up and three who’ve volunteered to help so I know that my job in the next week and a half is to advertise, advertise, advertise.

If you’re a Cassandra Clare fan or are doing your own City of Bones party, I’d love to hear your thoughts! While I’ve been planning it for a while now, I still feel like a lot of it won’t come together until the last minute.

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And that’s pretty much how I’ve felt the whole summer has gone so far; lots of planning, no way of knowing if any of it will go the way I hope it will, and just keeping my fingers crossed. The regular weekly programs for teens are in full swing and I barely have to make reminder phone calls any more. I’m hoping now I can concentrate on my special event and close out the summer with a bang.

And I cannot wait to get my hands on the numbers are start planning for next year.

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