Port Moody’s Adult Summer Reading Club a Blast!

AdultSRCIt all started with the question: why should kids have all the fun? A question our comrades in Surrey libraries obviously thought as well by running a successful club with their staff.

At the Port Moody Library, two fantabulous circulation staff had been harbouring thoughts of an adult summer reading club for some years. Well, “some day” happened this summer. Annette & Renelle used their creative powers for good not evil, and this is their story. I have included the 6 secrets of success to help you plan a successful adult summer reading club next year.

Secret #1 Keep it simple. Not just for staff, but for the adult club members

  • no formal registration
  • easy instructions on bookmark telling how the club worked
  • read a book, magazine, ebook
  • rate it, drop entry in super fancy box

Secret #2 Advertise

This was easy as we had a number of processes in place. The club was advertised with in- house posters, press releases to local papers, website and Twitter feed. The entry forms themselves were tucked into every adult fiction book placed on our hold shelf!

Secret #3 Give ‘em good RA

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They kept everyone’s energy up with their weekly change of display. None of us knew what was coming! No boring old “read a mystery” or stacks of books sitting in a pile. Some examples of the weekly themes consisted of Sunglasses at Night, I Get Around and Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The themes were tied to Bibliocommons booklists which are accessible anywhere our people traveled this summer.

Secret #4 – Give Prizes!

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Everyone loves to win. Our club members could rate what they read and enter as many times as they liked. We had a small budget and staff added other goodies. Our baskets had themes as well.

Secret #5 – Likely victims are everywhere

CrossingtheroadWe encouraged everyone who walked into the library to rate a book and win a prize. It was a lot of fun for those of us registering kids for the regular SRC, as we could bully, I mean encourage, adults to set a good example for the kiddies with the “I’m sure mommy/daddy reads every day too, right mommy/daddy? Then with sleight of hand, we had them taking entry forms and walking towards the display of the week before they knew what hit them.

At the circulation desk, staff were even sneakier. “How would you like to give that book a little rating when you’re done? You could win a FABULOUS gift basket, just for entering”

The benefits were huge. The Adult Summer Reading club created great conversations between all staff with our customers, not just information desk librarians. We watched circulation of the recommended titles rise. There was an increased use of Bibliocommons and perhaps best: Renelle & Annette, who do not normally run library programs, created, planned and implemented the club. Their enthusiasm encouraged all library staff to take part and encourage others to read great stuff. If there was something they needed, we all gave it willingly.

Secret #6 End on a High Note

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We received 425 ratings from our customers. Over 40 people dropped by for the wrap up held outside on August 26th and enjoyed iced tea, watermelon, snacks, a sneak peak at new arrivals and a chance to play with our photo booth. Everyone left refreshed, happy and looking forward to seeing what we have to offer them in the Fall.

Irene J.
Port Moody Public Library

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