Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It Begins...Summer Reading

Recently the Huffington Post asked readers to submit words that describe summer, which included: sleep, travel, adventure, fun, relaxation, greatness, peace, water, and books.  While others look forward to summer, those of us in the public library industry frequently feel a little bit queasy at the beginning of the season and may describe it with words like: screaming, anxiety, face-painting, live snakes, people wearing their bathing suits inside the library -- oh yeah and books.  Now is the time of year when I start to have night terrors about overflowing book drops and angry patrons when I cannot find them a copy of the latest New York Times bestseller.

Maybe it was because we were having a monsoon yesterday or were actually appropriately staffed, but it didn't seem that bad.  The children were fairly easy - looking for books on worms or the always popular Guinness Book of World Records; the teens occupied themselves with the onsite photo booth; but the adults -- that much coveted yet difficult to attain population who grimace at being asked to register themselves for the adult summer reading program...until we mention that there's a prize.  

image delightfully edited by me

"What's that?" a father with two wiggling children asks, pointing at the Parents: sign up for summer reading to win a FREE iPad mini! sign.

"You can win a iPad mini for signing up for summer reading," my coworker reads the sign to them.

"Just for signing up?!" the father asks.  I think I see bits of foam forming in the corners of his mouth.

"Well, you'll be entered in a drawing to win, if you finish your challenge card."

"Oh," the father's excitement falls as he realizes we don't have a box overflowing with iPad minis for the taking under the desk. "Ok, maybe I'lll sign up later.  I'll think about it," before he wanders away never to return.

Admittedly, only being entered to win a iPad mini is not as thrilling as getting one simply for signing your name on a scrap of colored paper, but the extremely low amount of adults who do register and manage to complete the insurmountable tasks of reading a book, attending a program, and learning to put a book on hold means that the chances of winning are pretty awesome.  I think last year my branch had less than 35 adults complete their challenge cards -- I'd take those odds but of course staff cannot enter.  We can only bribe our adult patrons with candy and free electronics while being chastised for not having unlimited copies Silver Linings Playbook on blu ray. 


  1. Speaking of horrifying storms and general insanity at the library, there is an uproar in a tiny village named Round Lake. We had a terrible storm last week, and a popular long-time librarian closed the village’s tiny library 40 minutes early because of a tornado warning. Well, she got fired because of it and that upset everyone in the village. A lot. Enough so that the entire library board quit yesterday, followed by the director quitting, after receiving "threats." All in a tiny village of 604 people! I guess library patrons do go crazy in the summer.

  2. I really am surprised more adults don't sign up for book clubs & reading programs. I spend so much time reading in the summer as I'm always out at the beach or cabin! But then again, maybe that's because I'm just a library nerd?