[kids-lib] Something to think about when planning summer reading

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Thu Dec 19 16:28:17 PST 2013

You may have seen this article already because it made their rounds on FaceBook and other social media this fall, but it might be good to look at it again when you plan your 2014 summer reading program. Librarian suggests turning the page on longtime reading club winner (http://poststar.com/news/local/librarian-suggests-turning-the-page-on-longtime-reading-club-winner/article_bdbebbc6-0625-11e3-b6f4-0019bb2963f4.html)

Fortunately, libraries in Oregon have been thinking about the issues brought up in the article for a while and are ahead of the game. For example Aimme Meuchel, Tualatin Public Library, wrote a great article call I Prefer to Count on Success: A Summer Reading Program that Supports Lifelong Reading (page 14) for the Spring 2013 OLA Quarterly. (http://www.olaweb.org/assets/OLAQ/olaq_19no1.pdf)

After reading Aimee's article, Amy Hutchinson from Lake County Library hopped into action! It was too late to get books for everyone for 2013 since they had already spent their incentive money on tchotchkes (and craft supplies, of course). Instead they switched their approach - "Tchotchkes for everyone! Just because you came!" - and had only certificates of completion vs certificates of participation at the end. Both library staff and the kids loved it. No incentive to lie when turning in reading logs, everyone was happy to have a tchotchke to go with their crafts, no hard feelings about competition, and their overall minutes and attendance even climbed a smidge. They can't wait until next year when they can give out books to go with registration - and hopefully a second book halfway through, depending on how SRP fundraising goes.

Some competition can be fun and motivating, but high-stakes competition that makes some kids feel unsuccessful, emphasize stereotypes like leveled reading groups, or think that they'll never have a chance to "win" can have the opposite effect. What is your library doing to reduce high-stakes competition and motivate all kids to participate, have fun, and feel successful?

Rewards can motivate kids to read more temporarly, but they may not help kids develop a lifelong love for reading. What is your library doing to try to reduce extrinsic rewards and increase intrinsic rewards?

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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