Our Summer Reading program has come to an end and I thought I'd give you an update on how it went.
Overall, we were very happy with how it went. Not all of the 75 people who signed up actually participated, but this was probably a good thing, as we were VERY busy and I can barely imagine what it would have been like if they had all been doing it. Here are some things that happened:
1. Our circulation more than doubled during the program. We used to have about 200 items out; during the program we averaged 450. I expect this to go down to normal levels again, but that's okay!
2. Kids and adults became more familiar with what the library has to offer, particularly in the children's area. This was one of our primary goals. We have some areas which we don't think anybody really 'sees', like a small but growing classics area, Easy Readers, children's biographies, etc. By using the bingo card format and including these and other genres, people had to find these sections.
3. Some kids who were not big readers before, learned that they actually enjoyed reading!
4. A few adults who had not been big readers discovered some things they liked.
5. Our prize and reward system worked beautifully, and we have a bunch of coupons left over.
We learned that the first few weeks, we need to make sure we have lots of staff in the library! It was pretty hectic helping all the people who came to sign up, and we didn't have enough people around to deal with that AND the people who were then trying to find the different genres in the library.
We need to design a separate bingo card for the pre-schoolers. We added them kind of as an after-thought, and had them use the Beginner card, but we found it wasn't really appropriate for them.
We need a better record-keeping system.
But we're already bursting with ideas for next year, as well as for a mid-winter adult reading challenge, and we'll use some of those left over coupons as incentives. We're quite happy with how it all went and with the ideas we've talked about for the future!