Tracy Kampa

In the Children’s Library world, spring is a time of mad, crazy planning. The Summer Reading Program is the shining jewel in our crown, but that particular jewel demands a lot of spit and polish before it can be presented to the public.

The Summer Reading Program is never far from the minds of Children’s Librarians. Listen carefully in any library and you’ll hear folks muttering “I wonder if I can find that on Pinterest?” and “I wonder if I can get (random community member) to do a program about (obscure, albeit interesting topic) to 75 preschoolers?” (And, if you are really paying attention, you also might hear, “I wonder if I can pay them in stale animal crackers?”)

When the planning starts in earnest, you’ll find Librarians with their heads together, pouring over calendars, hair standing on end from running their fingers through it in consternation. “This didn’t really work last year.” “We have nothing for babies…what are we doing for babies?” “Will anybody come to a program on July 3?” “How long will it take a nine-year-old to read this?” “Can we squeeze three books in for book club?” “How many programs are we doing in August?” “WAIT! We are open for six days that week and we have eight programs scheduled? Whose great idea was that?” (Oops.)

When that dust has settled, and the contracts are signed, meeting rooms booked, films purchased, prize books ordered, and prayers to the weather gods completed, it is time to gather all the information, quintuple check all the dates, times, and locations, and send the baby off to our graphic designer. Then wait, worry, panic a little, send a couple of reminder emails, lose a little sleep, and wait some more, until, finally, gloriously, miraculously, a summer schedule is in hand, ready for the public. Always, it comes in just under the wire; this year I received it seven hours before I started handing it out at a community event.

We have never had a busier summer. Many years ago our programming flyer fit a standard copy paper sheet, then we expanded to a legal size sheet. This year we had to expand again, and the schedule is printed on an 11x17 sheet, suitable for framing. Next year? I don’t  know…wallpaper?

Why do we do it? Because our kids are important, having a fun place to go is important, and reading during the summer is vitally important. But more about that next month. For now, please know that we have a lot of fun planned for the summer, and the schedule is ready for you to pick up at the Children’s desk. (And clear off a space on the fridge…it’s big!) Happy Reading!

This week at your library:

Monday, April 30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., Book Time

Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun. Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.

Monday, April 30, 6 p.m., ATV Trails of Itasca County

Presenters: Sara Thompson, Tom Sutherland and Guy Lunz

Itasca County trails are a sought after destination for ATV enthusiasts riding across much of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Seventy-five percent of county land is open for public use, but not all private lands are accessible to riders. Learn about new legislation, including that of allowing use of road right-of-ways to move between trails, and how regulations will be enforced. Includes an update on area trails, management, and maintenance.

Tuesday, May 1, 6 p.m., Animal Tales of How and Why

Presenter: Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux

Ms. DeCoux, international storyteller, will delight the audience with “Animal Tales of How and Why.” How did Turtle get cracks in its shell? Why do dogs sniff each other’s tails? Why does Bear hibernate all winter? Kids and families will love finding the answers with these interactive folktales from around the world. Appropriate for all ages; no registration necessary, but seating is limited.

Thursday, May 3, 6 p.m., The Benefits of Native Grasses to Butterflies and Moths

Presenter: Bonnie Siegfried

Think only native and ornamental flowering plants are important to support butterflies? Bonnie Siegfried will be here to show us the importance of native grasses as host species and food plants for native Minnesota butterflies and moths and how you can grow low maintenance, drought tolerant plants that provide benefits to the landscape.

Saturday, May 5, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m., Saturday Story Time

Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books and songs, then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending this Story Time.


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