Summer Reading at Laramie County Library: The 25/25/25 program
Laramie County Library System’s Summer Reading Celebration is designed for infants through adults. So being read to, listening to an audio book or reading anything counts. Children get equal credit if they read themselves or are read to, and parents get credit for reading with their children.
The program is structured to give people a choice of goals to complete their summer reading. They can choose to read - 25 books or 25 days or 25 hours.
Those who sign up aren’t asked to declare their goals to us, and we don’t keep track of who’s chosen which goal or if they switch goals. They keep track of their progress by placing stickers, which we provide, on a reading card.
For children and teens, each row of five stickers earns a small prize with a completion prize when the final fifth row is filled up. Adults earn prizes too, but only once they’ve finished their entire 25.
Our reading cards are designed in-house and include instructions and dates for the reading program as well as a list of major activities and events taking place through the summer. The same card is used for children, teens and adults. When we present the reading cards to participants as they sign up for summer reading, employees emphasize:
- the first date to pick up prizes
- the last date to sign up
- the deadline for any specific special prizes (i.e. finish 15 by week 3 and be entered into a drawing)
- the last date to collect prizes – no exceptions (which is the last day of summer reading)
Planning begins in December with review of a time line, budget, initial program ideas and possible performers. The theme is a statewide theme based on the national Collaborative Summer Library Program, although we usually select just one theme for the entire program instead of using the three themes presented as one each for children, teens and adults. PR is created and produced internally, except for a few items like book bags and bookmarks.
Our Outreach Coordinator writes an original puppet play and visits as many schools as she can throughout May to promote sign up. We hold a large carnival event the first weekend school is out to kick-off summer reading.
Funding comes from many businesses and organizations that provide goods, coupons and monetary donations. We use volunteers heavily to assist with preparation of handout materials and during programs.
Anais Scott, Youth and Outreach Services Manager
Laramie County Library System
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