The National Summer Learning Association has developed nine quality standards for summer programs for children of all ages. Libraries can use these standards as a tool for identifying what they are doing well and what they need to improve on regarding planning, staffing, funding, and implementing their summer reading program.
How are these standards different than the components of high-quality summer reading programs? The standards are general strategies all types of summer programs should have in place regarding organizational infrastructure and customer service. Quality standards are indicators of sustainability, intentional programming and evaluation, and positive and responsive customer service. The components of high-quality summer reading programs are specific to library summer reading programs. The components are activities and services research shows libraries can implement during the summer to help children and teens maintain or improve their reading skills.
Both the quality standards and components of high-quality summer reading programs can be used to demonstrate to stakeholders the value of your summer reading program. They can be used to advocate keeping certain aspects of your program and for funding to improve your summer reading program.
Did you know that Gale provides guided tutorials to help you plan summer reading programs? These summer reading tutorials are particularly good for library staff who are new to planning and implementing the summer reading program and for staff who are looking for new and/or different ways to plan their summer reading program.
Some of the topics covered by these tutorials include, but are not limited to:
- Online book clubs
- Using Gale resources to create games
- Using Gale resources to create reading activities
- Readers’ advisory
Here is how to access these tutorials:
- Go to Gale Guided Tutorials.
- Scroll down the page and look for “Summer Reading” towards the bottom of the right-hand column.
- Click on the tutorial(s) of your choice and they should automatically launch in a new tab in your browser.
The article Summer Reading Levels Up: How two library summer reading programs evolved into summer games by Greg Landgraf in American Libraries provides examples of how libraries are revamping summer programs. Here are some questions I asked myself as I read this article:
- Libraries have been offering similar summer reading program activities and programs for decades and it seem to be successfully fulfilling a need, but are we as effective as we could be?
- Real-world experiences build our capacity for understanding what we read, especially in children. How can libraries better link programming to what kids read to increase learning potential during the summer reading program?
- Summer opportunities for children and teens have expanded tremendously in the past several years, especially for middle and upper class families who are core library users. How can libraries more effectively reach out to less well-off families to engage them in free summer reading programs? What changes can libraries make to stay competitive among other summer activities and to keep our core summer reading participants?
Last week the Oregon State Library published the second annual Summer Reading Brief. This Brief is a report on the participation of children and teens in local public library summer reading programs throughout Oregon.