Forget Winter…Summer Reading is Coming!

Say it Rah-shay By Apr 29, 2014 29 Comments

I am linking up with Monday Listicles this week to answer Stasha’s prompt of things which we can’t understand. I thought I would use this as the platform to kick off my annual whining about my busiest program of the year: The Summer Reading Program.


nSpring Fest returns, May 3rd! #flipagram made with @flipagram<br /><br /> ♫ Music: Miss Li - Bourgeois Shangri-Laed summer

This year will mark my eighth summer with the library and summer is by far the the busiest time for me. There is an influx of kids, their parents, and the annual Summer Reading Challenge. According to the American Library Association website, “Summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas and not needed for farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading.” In the eight years that I have done Summer Reading it has evolved from me trying to do all things for all people to me doing all things for some people (ba dum bum!).


Ten memes to help me rant about summer.

This year my library has changed how we refer to our summer program. When we called it a program, people thought it was a camp and would leave their kids at the library all day. Kids would enter the library when I arrived and be there all day. After a few weeks boredom would set in and before I could even get in the door I would have a gaggle of kids asking me stuff.




Most schools assign a summer program and inevitably towards the end of summer there is that one kid/parent/ family who shows up at the end of August in a tizzy over a project which is due. Of course they don’t want the books available, they want to easier books which their more on the ball classmates have already checked out.






We have recently raised the age limit for unattended children at the library which still doesn’t stop people from leaving their children at the library. Children that I have never met must add.

sixunattended children






Summer reading is really to prevent summer slide, that slump because kids get TEN weeks off to not be in school. There are incentives to help motivate readers. Because I am a woman of excess, my first year was all about everybody gets a prize. My nervesand my budget doesn’t allow this and people may not get all of the prizes they think their kid is due.prizes

Each year summer camps happen. A few would call me ahead of time to set up special programs or to make sure we had enough supplies. One camp, no matter what I say just shows up. Like, a bus literally pulls up to the library and drops off a bunch of kids..




In lieu of a structured camp, people like to send their kids to the library to volunteer. Most volunteers are great but some….

*Slow. Blink.*




I always joke that since I don’t have my MLIS I don’t now all of the traditional rules. That said, my storytimes are LOUD. This, coupled with the sheer number of more people at the library means that summers are way more  noisy. I post hours of my scheduled programs because people have mentioned the noise level in the past.That doesn’t stop people from coming into the library and being annoyed.

library noise


People holding up closing time is not exclusive to summer but it seems that it’s worse when the sun is still shining, the smell of barbecue perfmes the air and the next day a performer is coming so there is no real program prep.







But, it’s not all bad. I come from a long line of fussers and had to uphold tradition. The rush of different programs, crowds has me feeling like:

muppet arms

Unless something I was worried about goes really well and then I feel like:

Likes this prompt? Link up with Stasha!



I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. I used to HATE summer reading and now that I a mom, I think it’s the best thing ever. Otherwise I just know that my boys brains would totally rot over the summer lol.

  2. Terry says:

    Bring it on!! Summer that is… I could do a summer reading program myself.

  3. Love the images! Made my morning.

  4. Ashley Gill says:

    HA! Thank you for this! I love this rant. Too funny.. My best friend used to have an internship at a library and she would complain about these things exactly!

  5. Love this! We get really excited about the summer reading program!

  6. Alice Chase says:

    These pictures had me rolling! At least you know what to expect this summer and are prepping to have a good attitude 🙂 I am hoping to participate in a summer reading program with our kids but wouldn't ever think of just dropping them off with the librarian!

  7. Kim Logan says:

    So funny! We have a small town library with limited hours. Mostly seniors and preschoolers at ours

  8. Pam says:

    My kids used to volunteer at the library. Hopefully they were actually decent and not the volunteers that make you post gifs about them, but you never know with young teens 😉

  9. JTand Amanda Erickson says:

    I love all the summer reading programs that libraries do. I hope our local library does one for my two year old son. He would love it!

  10. triplezmom says:

    It blows my mind how many people just leave their kids at the library.

  11. Oh my goodness, those photos made me LOL. Haha! but seriously; I love doing the summer reading programs with my kids. But yes; the libraries are always a lot more crowded and noisy in teh summers. We tend to not visit the library as much. Once a week trip to drop off old books and pick up new. Try to do most reserving of books online. We don’t do reading programs that require projects. Mostly I want my kids to read for fun and to keep their minds active. So I look for programs that reward based on number of pages or number of books read.

  12. Hilarious! Thanks, I sure needed the laugh today!

  13. Summer is the best time to read because there is nothing like enjoying a good book outdoors and feeling the sun on your face.

  14. I always assigned my own summer reading for my boys, of course they also have to read a books through out the school year in addition to their school work. During the school year though I allow them to pick the books during the summer we compromised. I hate the summer reading program because the books they assign are usually awful. I used to visit the library weekly and would always leave because of the unsupervised kids being out of control because they were bored – I completely understand your stating not to drop the off and run.

  15. These are really wonderful! I just love the national library theme for kids for this year.

  16. I love all your funny pictures. I plan to get my son involved in a summer reading program

  17. lawna says:

    Sadly, my children have never been to the library. They closed our local library so now we have to go to the book store!

  18. Nicole Brady says:

    I love the summer reading programs because it gives the kids some focus. My daughter volunteered when she was really young – reading to the little kids who (as she puts it) “are too young to read by themselves”.

  19. Rosey Marie says:

    The pictures are hilarious, and go perfect w/your commentary. We've been victim to the bus full of kiddos when we've arrived at a place too, which is fine, but if you've got to get in a line for something, might as well hang that right up. 😉

  20. Rosey says:

    The pictures are hilarious, and go perfect w/your commentary. We’ve been victim to the bus full of kiddos when we’ve arrived at a place too, which is fine, but if you’ve got to get in a line for something, might as well hang that right up. 😉

  21. Toni says:

    I cracked up at those pictures. I love summer reading programs.

  22. Ronnie says:

    haha this was cute. I really enjoyed it. 🙂 It’s fun to see the librarian’s perspective. Sounds like summer time in the library is nutty!

  23. Nicole Haas Etolen says:

    These pictures are all so funny. I love our library's summer reading program. They even have one for adults!

  24. Adrianne Grant says:

    This is awesome I loved all the pictures and I really needed the laughs. I need to sign my children up. Thanks for the reminder.

  25. Annie says:

    LOL all those memes & gifs are hilarious! Sounds like the library will be crazy this summer 😛

  26. Amanda Her says:

    My local library is starting a summer reading program. I want to get my son involved too.

  27. Dawn says:

    Hahaha! These are funny! I especially love the one about needing to print my paper but being on Facebook for the last hour. Bahahaha!

  28. I remember reading every summer as a kid, I LOVED it!

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