6/9/08 (not posted earlier due to lack of time at computer)
Across the country libraries are either beginning Summer Reading or finishing up their first week or two. My library has begun today, and is off to quite a start. With schools out and temperatures in the 90's-100's, families and groups of teens seem to be flocking to our air-conditioned library. We've got over 60 kids and 30 teens signed up for the Reading Program at the main branch, and who knows how many at the other branches. The children's librarian told me that she'd be out at the desk signing youth up all day. I am lucky enough to have teens volunteering and doing sign-up at the moment.
Teen volunteers are a great thing to have in libraries, though I fear somewhat underused and unavailable. We have use volun-teens mainly during the summer, though I'm trying to get them to work during the school year too. They currently say that they to busy to do anything more when school is on, but I'll try again in the fall.
Summer Reading is a definitely a mixed blessing for libraries. Our circs, door counts, program attendance, and reader's advisory go way up. Earlier we had at least six families in the children's area reading, looking for books, playing games, making puppets eat each other. It is chaos and it is kinda the most wonderful thing.