News Flash

Life at the Library

Posted on: August 23, 2018

A librarian's perspective on Summer at Your Library

alaina at seed art program

Alaina Johnson is a youth services librarian at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Now that summer is drawing to a close (and she has some time to think!), she's sharing her perspective on why summer at the library is such a big deal. 

There’s an almost magical quality to the first days of the library’s summer reading program. There is a jam-packed events calendar to look forward to. Kids and teens swarm the information desks with requests for favorite books and new recommendations. Eager teen volunteers begin arriving for their first shifts of the summer.

As my third summer as a youth services librarian at R.H. Stafford Library is drawing to a close, it’s time to reflect on this summer and begin preparing for summer 2019.

So why is summer such a big deal at the library? If you have visited any Washington County Library since June, you have seen firsthand how many kids, teens, and families choose to include us in their summer plans.

A big part of this is Summer at Your Library, a program for kids and teens where they can earn rewards for literacy and library-related activities. We all know they work hard throughout the school year to learn and build their reading skills, but if this doesn’t continue during the summer they can fall significantly behind.summer fun at R.H. Stafford Library

The best way to combat summer reading loss is to make reading a habit all summer long. We encourage that by providing incentives and additional youth programming at all our libraries.

My first week of Summer at Your Library included organizing two regular storytimes, two outreach storytimes, and a comedy performance attended by over 200 people; kicking off our weekly teen program by making galaxy jars; hosting the Bakken Museum’s Frankenstein Science Program; and spending a Saturday afternoon running a Harry Potter Escape room!

In between running programs, I help patrons at the reference desk and manage the teen volunteer program. This fast pace is my favorite thing about summer. There’s so much to do, so many exciting challenges to tackle, and the rewards are great.

summer fun at R.H. Stafford Library

Summer programs at Washington County Library is the result of a lot of planning and collaboration among our youth services librarians. Technically, planning for summer 2019 begins right now. As we finalize statistics and take down décor, we are also reflecting on and discussing what we can do to make next year even better.

By the time December rolls around we begin scheduling our performers. We spend the spring months developing and sharing program plans, ordering materials, recruiting teen volunteers, and more. Most of the details must be finalized by the beginning of May, so we can spend time visiting local schools and promoting our programs to the community. Then, we get to see our all our planning in action and the cycle begins again.

All this work is worth it when a child comes up to recommend his favorite book to me. Or when a teen returns to tell me she just LOVED the book I recommended, and could she please put the rest of the series on hold? Or when a mom tells me her daughter is excited to wake up every Monday because she knows it’s time for storytime.

These are the moments I’ll be thinking about as I begin to plan for next summer. But don’t wait until then to visit us! We hope to see you in the library soon.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Life at the Library

a pile of wrapped presents

Spotlight On...Our Favorite Things

Posted on: November 29, 2018
black friday text

Celebrate Black Friday at the Library!

Posted on: November 21, 2018
Person writing in a journal

Spotlight On...Writing

Posted on: October 29, 2018
family photos

Spotlight On...Genealogy

Posted on: October 1, 2018
computer notebook and backpack

6 online tools for a better back to school

Posted on: September 26, 2018
dollar sign-600

How much is your library card worth?

Posted on: September 17, 2018
book in sand-600

Our most popular checkouts of summer 2018

Posted on: September 12, 2018
Library card options

Your library card -- 3 ways!

Posted on: September 10, 2018
VW bus

Smart Travel series kicks off Sept. 12

Posted on: September 3, 2018
Crayons

Spotlight On...Back to School

Posted on: August 31, 2018
Storytime at Oakdale Library

What's in store for fall storytimes?

Posted on: August 29, 2018
glasses and stack of books

Nonfiction that blew our minds!

Posted on: August 20, 2018
hold shelf at Park Grove library

Our most popular checkouts of July

Posted on: August 8, 2018
simplify your life

Spotlight On...Simplifying Your Life

Posted on: August 2, 2018
Ballet performance

Summer survival with smARTpass

Posted on: July 24, 2018
STEM Saturdays child holding snake

VIDEO: Step into STEM Saturdays

Posted on: July 19, 2018
Library booth

You Scream, We Scream

Posted on: July 16, 2018
Computer with 404 Message

Public computer upgrades underway

Posted on: June 29, 2018
computer board

Spotlight On...STEM

Posted on: June 29, 2018
Jack the dog

Paws...at the library

Posted on: June 22, 2018
apple and books

Spotlight On... Summer Learning

Posted on: May 31, 2018
healthy food and a cookbook

Spotlight On... Health

Posted on: April 30, 2018
handshake at a business meeting

Spotlight On... Jobs and Careers

Posted on: March 30, 2018
car_145

ALLDATA is back!

Posted on: March 5, 2018
map and camera

Spotlight On...Travel

Posted on: February 28, 2018
short stack of books

Our most popular books of January 2018

Posted on: February 12, 2018
Library cards in a pile

New library cards designs unveiled

Posted on: February 2, 2018
NoveList screen shot

Spotlight On...Book Clubs

Posted on: February 1, 2018