Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Summer Reading Time

It's that time of year again . . . The Summer Reading booklets were distributed to all students before the end of school, and once again we spent lots of time with students and parents, helping them choose their summer reading choices. It's sort of like personal shopping for the reading customer, and is one of the best parts of the job.

Paideia Library allows (and encourages) families to check out books and audiobooks for the summer vacation. The policy is that all summer checkouts go on a parent library account (because of the quantity of items and duration of the circulation period); junior high and high school students just need written or e-mailed permission from the parent, while elementary students need to have the parent present for checkout. This year, all summer checkouts are due on September 3, 2010.

Why let books go out over the summer? Lots of reasons:
  • we want to encourage and facilitate student reading when they're not in school;
  • we can help students find several books they may not have heard of but they will probably enjoy;
  • the long circulation period helps families who go out of town (one family heads to Norway for the entire summer, complete with a huge suitcase full of Paideia Library books);
  • the books would just sit here over the summer since we're not open anyway;
  • and
  • fewer books sitting in the library means fewer items to scan at inventory time.
With hundreds of titles included, the three Summer Reading lists -- Elementary, Junior High and High School (links will download lists as .pdf files) -- are more like "reading guides" than a prescribed list of books that must be read. We do have summer reading requirements:
  • Elementary (grades K-6): read (or have read to you) 5 books
  • Junior High (grades 7 & 8): read 6 books
  • High School (grades 9-12): read 4 books
New this year for Junior High is the Summer Reading Bowl, which does have a list of 6 specific titles. Any rising 7th or 8th grader who wants to participate in the Summer Reading Bowl in the fall should read at least 3 of these books, or preferably all 6!

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