Creating a Teen Summer Reading Program in Less Than 4 Months

Creating a Teen Summer Reading Program in Less Than 4 Months

Creating a Teen Summer Reading Program in Less Than 4 Months

Today is the first day of Spring. Do you know what that means? It means that there are less than 4 months until summer. What are you going to do for your teens at the library? Will this be another summer without a teen summer reading program? Really

Not at my library! I’ve already started designing the first-ever Teen Summer Reading Program for the Paoli Public Library, and our teens are already excited for what’s ahead. So do you think you have what it takes to create your own Teen Summer Reading Program at your library? Here are roughly 15 steps to take if you think you’re ready:

  1. Ask your teen patrons and / or your Teen Advisory Board if they are interested in having a teen summer reading program at the library. Check to see if the high schools and middle schools have a teen summer reading program already in place. If so, it may be best to partner with those programs so teens don’t feel they are being pulled in two directions. No summer reading programs in the area? Teen interest? If so, proceed to step two.
  2. Look through theme ideas and resources for Teen Summer Reading Programs. You can trek out on your own for a theme, or do what I’m doing with my program, which is taking the theme from Collaborative Summer Library Program. This year (2014), the teen theme is “Spark a Reaction.” Also check out Pinterest to see what other libraries are doing with their programs; gather ideas of what you would like to do and can do with your teens.
  3. Choose dates and times for your teen summer reading program meetings. At the Paoli Public Library, our program will meet on Friday nights in June from 4 pm to 5 pm. 
  4. Choose exactly what you’ll do for each meeting. For example, our program will meet four times in June with these activities:
    1. Forensic Science demonstration / presentation
    2. Cooking class – Fun, healthy, and quick foods for teens
    3. Nail art and makeovers
    4. Duct Tape DIY
  5. Look through bibliographies dealing with your themes topics. Find out how many books your library owns from the lists. Do you need to order more books from the list? Or can some of the books be found through Inter-library loan?
  6. Find volunteers to help with events. Tell them ahead of time what to expect and how they can help.
  7. Find funding and create a budget for the program.
  8. Create promotional and marketing material.
  9. Distribute the promotional and marketing material. Make sure your share the teen summer reading program news on social media, and hype the events up before the program starts. For example, you can do a countdown to summer reading by sharing the countdown on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, your library website, etc.
  10. Gather supplies throughout planning and especially in the few weeks before the program.
  11. Dry-run your events to find potential problems.
  12. Celebrate! Enjoy the summer reading program with your teens. It’s a lot of work, but it can pay off with more actively reading teens at your library.
  13. Survey teens and keep track of attendance and participation throughout and after the summer reading program.
  14. Reflect on results and what could be improved for next year.
  15. Report your results to the library board, the community, and to your teens. 
  16. BONUS: Take a breather!

More resources and fun things to help plan your program….

Good luck with planning your library program! If you have any questions, ideas, or just want to chat with me, feel free to tweet me @sarahderinger88!

Happy Weather Person’s Day!: Planning Fun & Wacky Holiday Programs

It can be difficult sometimes coming up with new ideas for library programs, and one way that I have been planning programs is by looking at different holidays and celebrations that no one thinks about. For example, today is National Weatherman’s Day. Have you heard of National Weatherman’s Day? Are you a weather man or a weather fan? That may be the reason you have heard of it; for others, it may be a new thing.

So what does it take to come up with brilliant library programming?

If you still need ideas for library programming, check out these sites for the best and brightest of library programs:

You may wonder now what National Weatherman’s Day has to do with library programming, and it’s because this Friday, I’m hosting a Weather program for children at the Paoli Public Library. Here are my plans:

No matter what you plan for your program, there are plenty more ideas where that came from!

Making the Most of Your Snow Day

Image: "Making the Most of Your Snow Day"

When I was younger, I loved snow days. It meant you could stay home, sleep in, watch cartoons on television, read books for fun, and not have to worry about homework deadlines for another day. Now that I’m out of school and in the working world, I like snow days because you can work on things that might get put on the backburner during the regular work days. I’ve come up with a few tips to maximize your snow day.

  • Wake up at the normal time (unless you’re not feeling well. In that case, take some time to rest.) By waking up at the right time, you’ll stay on the same sleep schedule, which will make it easier for when you go back to work. It also gives you a full day to work… at home.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. How will you be able to work today without a good breakfast? You can work without breakfast, but you can increase your ability to focus without an empty stomach. My favorite is yogurt and an omelet.
  • Stretch, walk, move! Take some time to exercise in some way. For example, you can walk for 30 minutes or find an exercise video on YouTube. By giving yourself a workout, you’ll feel better for the day.
  • Prioritize your list of To-Dos. What’s the most important thing to get done today? Work on that first. You can try The Daily Muse’s “Better To-Do List: The 1-3-5 Rule” if you have difficulty figuring out how to prioritize. 
  • Get started!

Ideas To Work On From Home

  • Does your library or business have a PinterestTwitterFacebook, or other social media network? If you have access, use your snow day as a Connect & Engage Day with your community.
  • If you’re looking for a library job, try this site out: Make your snow day the day you find your dream library job!
  • Daydream about ways to improve your library or business. Use your snow day as a planning day. What can you do to make your company’s or your customer’s lives easier?

No matter how you use your snow day, make the most of it! 

Library Technology Trends for 2014

Technology Trends in 2014 - What are the trends? What do you want to implement? What will you do in 2014?

Technology Trends in 2014 – What are the trends? What do you want to implement? What will you do in 2014?

This afternoon, I attended Florida Library Webinar‘s “Tech Trends to Watch in 2014″. The information presented in the webinar was highly interesting and eye-opening to the technology available to libraries for implementation in the near future. I wanted to highlight a few of the trends from the presentation that I hope to implement at my own local public library or at least discuss with other professionals.

Mobile Payment

One of the many trends in which libraries can choose to participate is mobile payment applications and tools. Mobile payment applications enable libraries or other businesses to exchange money using mobile applications. For example, if a library had a Square card reader and a smart phone, iPad, or iPod touch, library patrons could pay for fines with their credit card at the library. This would be especially helpful for libraries that do not have any other form of card reader. At our local public library, we only accept cash and checks. This could be a way to open the payment options for more patrons. However, I understand there may be risks in using this type of technology. I would be even more supportive of getting this technology for our library with more information about the privacy and safety features that would prevent Data Theft.

Collaboration Tools

Feeling all alone at the library should be a thing of the past! A second trend is collaboration tools in which libraries can utilize to communicate with both staff, library professionals, and the community. Because of the newer chat tools, libraries can collaborate with a number of people for any number of reasons. The presentation listed Screen Leap, Google+ Hangouts, FaceTime, Skype,  and Facebook Messenger as top tools to use for collaboration among others. I would love to use one or more of these tools to help patrons find the information and resources needed, no matter where they are in the world. I would also love to use these tools when developing professional development for our staff. This is something that I am looking to use in the future, but I am not sure if we would be able to implement this very soon.


Another trend that was mentioned during the presentation and that I believe would be easily enacted at libraries is gamification, or “game-design thinking”. Gamification is a way to motivate and engage people in learning and library participation. Library patrons are encouraged to participate in events and learn new things when libraries award badges and prizes. The presentation listed many different games and tools that are examples of gamification; a few of these include: Library Game, Lemon Tree, Game of Books, Captain Up, Passport (from Purdue University), and Code-academy. I really love the idea of encouraging the community to learn and attend events, and this seems like a simple way to engage the community. One of my goals is to implement game-design thinking at our public library this year.

I really enjoyed the presentation and its tips on staying informed in the technology sector.

To continue the discussion, please comment to me either on this post or on Twitter. What technology trends do you want to see in 2014? What trends do you want to implement in your library? Why? Why not?

Welcome to 2014! Quick Reflections & Goals for the New Year

In 2013, I shared 839 FREE webinars at In 2014, there's more to come!

In 2013, I shared 839 FREE webinars at In 2014, there’s more to come!

2013 was a great year for online free learning in the library and information field, and 2014 has the potential to be ever greater!

A quick look back at 2013 stats:

  • Total webinars shared for 2013: 839
  • October had the most webinars available (133 webinars).
  • January had the least webinars shared (9 webinars); however, this may have been due to just getting started in finding and sharing webinars.
  • That’s a 1377% increase between January and October!
    • The Math: Percentage Change
      • 133 – 9= 124
      • 124 / 9 =  13.7777777…
      • 13.77 x 10 = 1377%
  • The average shared for each month: 69 webinars

Do you like free webinars and online learning? Follow me on Twitter: @sarahderinger88 to get updates when I update the calendar and for daily reminders when webinars are happening.

My 2014 Goals

Share your 2014 Goals with me via the comment section. What do you want to learn? Where do you want to go? What do you want to create?

Top 10 Posts of 2013: Year In Review

First of all, thank you for your readership and your support for my blog. I’m very thankful to provide information on libraries and continuing education opportunities. This year has been a big year for me. I’ve recently graduated with my Master’s of Science in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and I’m currently on the job hunt for a full-time library position. Even with all that has happened, I know that there are even greater things that await.

So, let’s take a look back at this year at the Top 10 most viewed posts.

10. “Two Tools to Try – Vine and Instagram for Libraries” (Posted: August 9, 2013)

The tenth most popular post shows that libraries are looking for more ways to freely engage and empower their communities. Instagram and Vine are two tools that can help.

9. “MOOC: Learn Something Today & Become a Librarian Tomorrow” (Posted: February 4, 2013)

The ninth most popular post shows that library professionals and librarian hopefuls are looking for new ways to learn and broaden their learning. MOOCs are one opportunity to do so.

8.  “RIF’s Spring Reading Activities for Kids: What Libraries Can Learn and Implement in Children’s Programs” (Posted: March 7, 2013)

The eighth most read post shows that libraries are looking for ways to improve their programming and inspire children through reading activities. Reading is Fundamental (RIF) provides a great example of inspiring kids to read through their “Spring Reading Activities for Kids” set.

7. “Disney’s Ways of Optimizing Customer Service: What It Could Mean for Your Business” (Posted: January 8, 2013)

The seventh most viewed post focuses on customer service and how it could change your business or the library. Disney provides leadership training for those wanting to improve their customer service skills and businesses.

6. “N or M? The Book That Got Agatha Christie Under Investigation (Book Review)” (Posted: February 21, 2013)

The sixth most popular post was a book review on a potentially scandalous fictional spy story. Agatha Christie was under investigation because of N or M? because of its details being so similar to what was actually happening during the war. I hope to read more books by Christie for 2014!

5. “Creating a Social Media Plan for Your Library” (Posted: June 4, 2013)

The fifth most read post was about a webinar I had attended describing how to plan for social media marketing and interaction. Libraries looking for the best possible way to engage their library visitors and communities should not just play at social media, they must plan for it! One of my goals for 2014 is to engage more of the community through social media for my library.

4. “Blog Series: Tips Learned From Serving on a Hiring Search Committee: The Interview” (Posted: May 17, 2013)

The fourth most viewed post was one in which I describe what I learned while serving on a hiring search committee, especially during the interview. The interview happens to be the most daunting piece of the job search for me, but with preparation, an interview can go better than expected.

3. “Library Thing: A Viable Database for Small Church Libraries?” (Posted: January 31, 2013)

The third most popular post included a poll in which readers can answer whether they used library thing and whether it was helpful to them. I got a variety of answers, but what I learned is that Library Thing can be a helpful database for a small church library.

2. “Library Marketing Strategy: This Library Is Doing It Right” (Posted: January 18, 2013)

The second most popular post described my thoughts on Richland Library’s marketing strategy and website design. I thought they were doing a great job because they designed a website for their communities and users rather than designing a website that only helped its librarians.

1. “Rethinking School Library Media Specialists: Three Articles That You Should Read To Understanding The Newest Trends of School Library Philosophy” (Posted: January 28, 2013)

The most read post of all during 2013 is about the redesign of the school library and the re-positioning of the school library media specialist. I shared three articles I thought were beneficial to the discussion of the profession’s roles.

2013 Trends in Review

  • Social Media
  • MOOCs and online learning
  • Library programming
  • Customer Service
  • Book Review
  • Job Interview
  • Library Thing
  • Library Marketing
  • School Library Media Specialists

Just a note: In 2013, this blog has had 3,750 views. Again, thank you for taking the time to read and use my website!

Here’s to a great 2014! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas: 60+ Resources for Your Library Christmas Party

With approximately 3 days at the library left before closing for Christmas, it’s about time for a Library Christmas party! Here’s your guide to some great books, movies, and music to share with your patrons this Holiday season. I’ve also made and am sharing with you a free bookmark and poster via

  • The Bookmark
Happy holiday 2013 bookmark. A Bookmark for librarians to share with patrons, or for anyone to print and use as a bookmark.

Happy holiday 2013 bookmark. A Bookmark for librarians to share with patrons, or for anyone to print and use as a bookmark.

  • The Poster
Merry Christmas Poster 2013. Christmas poster for librarians to share with patrons.

Merry Christmas Poster 2013. Christmas poster for librarians to share with patrons.

I love the Christmas and Holiday season because I can finally re-watch my favorite classic Christmas movies, like Home Alone 1 & 2 and many others.

Movie Marathon

I also love reading books that share the joy of giving, sharing, and loving those around us. It can really put me in the Christmas spirit when I can read a good book and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Story Time / Book Display

Music can also put you in the Holiday mood, as long as it’s not played over and over again on the Wal-mart radio while you’re finishing up with your Christmas shopping. That can get annoying, but don’t be afraid to share some soothing Holiday music with your patrons!

Heard it on the Radio (or Spotify)

No matter what gets you in the Christmas spirit, I hope you enjoy this library guide as you celebrate with your families, libraries, and library visitors. Merry Christmas!