Engaging programs to keep kids coming back to the library
After years of tweaking, I have perfected the Book Club for Kids. When I began my career as a children’s librarian, I was under the impression that any child that walked through the door of the library was an avid reader. They had no time to do any other hobbies except have their noses in a gigantic pile of books that they checked out from the children’s room. I was very shocked when I lead my first book club for the school age and realized that not a single child actually finished reading the entire book that was assigned for this awesome Book Club Meeting. Of course when I took a step back I examined my own Book Club habits, I found the following:
So, why was I so surprised that children were looking for similar things from their book club? Good question! Since working with children over the past ten years and learning to relax and go with the flow, I’ve tweaked my book clubs and you can do the same! My Book Club is no longer a single meeting, it’s held over eight consecutive weeks for one book title. (This may even work well for adult book clubs!) Children are asked to read about three chapters each week (and I usually have time to read one aloud), which makes it much more manageable for everyone. Of course, some children read ahead and that’s totally OK as long as they don’t allow any spoilers! A typical 45-minute meeting is broken down like this:
I also always have the children vote (by paper ballot to avoid peer pressure) on the book title and/or genre. When I run this club during the summer reading program, I always choose a book from their summer reading list so they can get their school requirement finished by coming to the library. Books that work for the middle grade reader:
Books that work for the tween/early teen reader:
What tricks of the trade do you have that I can steal?