As many of you know, Summer Reading Program (SRP) has begun and is in full swing. You may not understand what the impact has on the library staff, so I thought I would use this week’s article to throw a little kudos to the staff for their hard work and dedication to the library during these extremely busy months at the library.
The first thing we often talk about during SRP months of May, June, and July, is the increase in checkouts and returns. Patrons use our materials then either drop them in the drive-thru book drop or they bring them inside to the Circulation Desk book drop. These two impact areas of the library get backlogged and jammed up pretty good during these two months. Sometimes the books are overflowing from the carts and we have to play catch up. You’d think that checking in library materials was easy to do, but for each single item, they get cleaned, sensitized for security, checked back in, sorted, and then shelved. For audiovisual materials, you add another step of locking or unlocking the cases. Sometimes items are on hold for other people or have staff notes that pop-up and these items have to be specially handled when returned. During any given day we can see 450 items circulated or up to 13,561 items a month.
Now more circulation of materials also means more people are coming into the library. When SRP is happening and kids are out of school, we can see an increase of 2,000 people a month from non SRP months. That means staff is helping out with finding materials, answering questions, helping with computers, assisting with printing and copying, performing programs and educational activities, and handling the circulation of materials for more people. And added to their duties during SRP months is also helping kids and adults log their minutes of reading through our online Beanstack software and then claiming their prizes at the library. We also see an increase in programs and educational activities. This week alone, we have 4 sessions of Wildlife Encounters, Universe of Stories, Teen Art and Cosmic Connection, Get Your Tech On, 5 Storytime sessions, Susan’s Space, Lego Party, Baby & Toddler Time, and Train Like an Astronaut. Our kids’ activity calendar is available on our website in the Kids’ Room.
We also have many other activities that we take part in because of the warm summer months. This summer the library staff is bringing back a form of Lemonade on the Lawn and hosting Jerry Barlow during the John C Fremont Festival on July 13th. The children’s staff are also participating in Summer Lunch Programs and Summer Academies for the schools. We also have a bookmark designing contest in the summer that allows young patrons to share their artistic library-themed drawings or prints. It is fun to see the imagination and how children perceive libraries and their resources.
Feel free to stop by any of our FREE summer activities.