Summer 2019: Evaluating Summer Reading Clubs

This month we’re looking into the Policy and Practice category, though there are definite overlaps into child development, inclusivity, and community engagement. The articles we selected tackle the penultimate children’s program – the Summer Reading Club. How do we get kids to attend? Do summer reading programs help kids become better readers? What are our goals? How are libraries changing the ways they do things over the summer? These are the questions we’re investigating.


A Hook and a Book: Rewards as Motivators in Public Library Summer Reading Programs (2017) by Ruth V. Small, Marilyn P. Arnone, Erin Bennett

Optional Supplementary Articles:

Collaborative Summer Library Program White Paper
This paper examines the research done on the effectiveness of summer programs in schools, at home, and in libraries. Pages 25 – 36 of the article contain the research synthesis related to public libraries.

Libraries at the Center of Summer Learning and Fun by the Urban Libraries Council  This brief guide gives examples of libraries transitioning to summer learning programs. Check out the five strategies to evolve at the end of the article.

Discussion Group Meeting

Sunday, July 28th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The Vancouver group will be meeting at the Athlete’s Village Housing Co-op Common Room located at 151 W 1st Ave. Please email us for more details.

Discussion Questions

Here are some suggested discussion questions to think about when reading through the pieces.

Critical Appraisal:

  • What were the key objectives of the article? Are the objectives relevant to libraries?
  • What conclusions did the authors come to and were they just?
  • What were the strengths/weaknesses of the piece? (I.e. Was there bias? Did they use credible sources? Were their data gathering methods sound?)

Current Practice:

  • What types of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations does your library provide to kids to read over the summer?
  • What are the goals of your summer reading program? How are they similar and different to other community partners such as schools?
  • How core is “reading” to our summer programs? Discuss this in relation to the transition to summer learning programs, library collections, and serving underrepresented kids in your community.
  • If you could design a summer program in libraries from scratch, what would you change? Are there ways to lessen the stress on staff? How can we reach kids who normally don’t participate?

Can’t Make It To the Meeting?

There’s lots of ways to get involved! Participate online: share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #lscjournalclub. Find a local group or try hosting a journal club meeting in your local community. Let us know about it so we can spread the word. If you set up a local group, test your presentation skills by leading the discussion.

Leave a comment here with any questions or your thoughts about the articles.

Reflection Pieces

  • TBA

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