By Anne Nagrant and Vanessa Craig
Summer and reading go hand in hand. From books for the beach to bestselling paperbacks, adults take advantage of longer days and vacation time. Children are encouraged to read for fun and to combat the “summer slide.” Public library summer reading programs provide fun motivation for both adults and young people to read, read, read.
There is no one way to design a summer reading program, and chances are that your library’s program is already well under development. Some libraries give credit for every book completed. Other libraries ask patrons to track how many minutes they spent reading. Library summer reading programs can encourage readers to explore materials beyond the page.
Allow readers to count eBooks! Summer is a great time to promote your GVRL collection—colorful non-fiction books for children, travel guides for vacation daydreamers, and a whole host of articles on other topics. Kids can read entire eBooks within National Geographic Kids too. Who doesn’t enjoy reading Weird But True facts? The eBook content available in National Geographic Kids is impressive, from easy readers like All About Me, to books about animals, weather, archaeology, national parks, and history. National Geographic Virtual Library is the portal to articles from the classic magazine. Its People, Animals, and World collection includes Traveler magazine and National Geographic eBook content as well. First-time genealogists can use Genealogy Connect to review how-to-get-started eBooks as they begin their quest.
The 2014 adult summer reading program of Southfield Public Library in Michigan offered a game board (created by Katie Rothley) with squares for different activities. One square gave credit for checking out a DVD and watching a movie that was based on a book. If that’s your library’s style of program, why not include a square inviting participants to spend time in an electronic resource? Chandler Public Library in Arizona asked adults to enroll in a Gale Courses class and bring the enrollment confirmation email to the desk. A scavenger hunt in the library building can include clues, posters, and fun facts about online resources and eBooks. Create an online scavenger hunt for teens to explore the library website and your online resources. Sometimes it only takes a suggestion to get patrons stepping outside their comfort zone.
When patrons have gathered for a program at the library, take advantage of the audience to share related electronic resources. Book clubs can use Artemis Literary Sources and Gale’s other literature products to move beyond the text for author information and critical reviews. Books and Authors provides readers’ advisory and recommends similar reads. If your library is using the Collaborative Summer Library Program themes – Every Hero Has a Story, Unmask, and Escape the Ordinary– there are even more ways to promote your eResources.
- Read about the lives of real-life heroes in Biography in Context.
- Children can use Kids InfoBits to read about their heroes, or find Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog in National Geographic Kids.
- Does your library have a travel collection? Do a display in the library about a unique, off-the-beaten-path destination. Promote your GVRL travel titles in the display too.
- Invite local heroes to your library. Veterans come to mind first for national recognition, but perhaps a business owner or non-profit organization has made a difference to the community. Promote your business eResources, like Small Business Resource Center, to patrons interested in learning more about entrepreneurship.
- Order customized bookmarks from Gale’s ProMo site and hand them out at events.
By adopting some of these ideas, you have the chance to take a great initiative—summer reading program—and broaden its scope to expose your patrons to more of the library’s resources. Think outside the box and find even more ways to promote your electronic resources. Summer reading can be so much more than books.
If you incorporate Gale resources into your summer reading plans, leave us a comment! If you’re in need of some Children’s resources, trial our hero eBooks and National Geographic Kids today!
About the Author
Anne Nagrant is a Customer Success Manager who serves public libraries throughout the US and Canada. She came to Gale in 2012 after a fun career in historical museums. She has a BA in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan. Anne is invigorated by promoting education via non-traditional paths.
About the Author
Vanessa is a Customer Success Manager for public libraries at Gale. She has experience working in public and academic libraries which led to her receiving her MLIS in 2012. Vanessa is a confessed chocoholic, avid baker, Harry Potter fanatic, and passionate world traveler.