Thursday, June 1, 2017

Library on the Go: The Plan

I've been thinking about how I reach kids over the summer. Do my school visits really make a difference? Would those kids come to the library anyways? How do I reach all the kids whose families don't normally visit the library, who have blocked library cards, who are worried about getting fines or paying for lost materials? Our town proper doesn't have a transportation barrier - you can walk across town in about 30 minutes - but we have outlying townships where kids have no way of getting into town.

So, my solution is to start my own bookmobile/summer outreach. I'm calling it Library on the Go. I got funding from a Dollar General summer reading grant and purchased a large amount of books. I will be visiting one of our low-income housing complexes and summer school (which is at the middle school) alternately over the summer. Kids will have the opportunity to sign up for summer reading (to participate they will still need to visit the library itself) and also to enjoy storytime and crafts.

I chose books that were all under $3.50 and paperbacks. I picked a lot of National Geographic easy readers, Scholastic Branches, I Can Read, and popular series like Ballpark Mysteries, Puppy Place, and I Survived. For this inaugural launch, I picked only easy readers and beginning chapters and only books I already had in the library. I also did not choose any tv tie-ins this time around. Our cataloger put in brief records and barcoded each book. My associate made a logo. Those are the only processing the books received. We put them in our professional collection so other patrons can't place holds on them.

For circulation, I will be scanning the barcodes into a spreadsheet. Each kid can have 2 LotG books. If they return them the next time I come, or drop them off at the library, they can have 1-2 more books. If they don't return them, there are no overdue fines and whatever is still "checked out" at the end of the summer I will write off. I also hope to lend these books to classrooms during the school year. I'm loading all the books into dishpans from Walmart which will be easy to transport and using an ipad and portable scanner.

Storytime Books
  • Princess in black by Shannon Hale
  • Bad Kitty gets a bath by Nick Bruel
  • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
  • Not quite narwhal by Jessica Sima
  • I don't want to be a frog by Dev Petty
  • Lucy & Company by Marianne Dubuc
Craft Projects
  • Tongue depressor bracelets (saved from a previous program)
  • Nature balls (fill xmas ornaments with natural items)
  • Suncatchers (purchased)
  • Sun shadow art (purchased)
  • Stuffed key chain ornaments (purchased)
  • Paint shapes/biocolor (purchased)
  • Wooden tops (purchased)
Additional supplies
  • stickers, colored tape
  • paint, permanent markers

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