Summer Reading 2013Presented by: Helena BrittainBethany Deneve, Katie Cox and Crystal EdwardsSELF DIRECTED PROGRAMMING
SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMMING• According to the Librarian’s Guide to PassiveProgramming, a passive or self directed program canneatly sidestep concerns you may have regardingissues that may arise with traditional programs.• Such as: Bad Weather, staffing, or another communityevent.
WHEN TO USE SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• Self Directed programs are for patrons to participate inanytime the library is open. You could even have SelfDirected programs online for patrons to do.• Self Directed programs can be built around almost anytopic and the cost is typically little, and requires onlyminimal staff involvement beyond initial setup andongoing promotion.
WHY USE SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• Self Directed Programs are desirable because theyencourage patrons to linger in the library.• Patrons lives are filled with families, jobs, householdchores, hobbies, and dozens of other things.Competition for the public’s time and attention is fierce,and distractions are numerous.• Let’s make Summer Reading participation easy forpatrons, so it will be harder for them to say, “No, I don’thave time.”
TYPES OF SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• Interactive Bulletin Boards• Tabletop activities• Worksheets• Take Home Kits• Scavenger Hunts• Seek and Find
SEARCH THE STACKS• Scavenger Hunts seem to do well with patronsbecause this type of self directed program is perfectfor families; kids can do the searching, while oldersiblings or adults help with reading instructions andcompleting answer sheets.• The real benefit of a scavenger hunt is that they canbe used to direct traffic through your library. If youwant your collection of children’s music CDsdiscovered. Hide a clue nearby!
TYPE OF HUNTS• Coded Scavenger Hunt• Find the Gnome (or an object of your choose)
CODED SCAVENGER HUNT• For the Coded Scavenger Hunt you will need to do the following:• Pick out 26 easily distinguishable symbols one for each letter ofthe alphabet.• Use the images chosen and create an answer key. Each symbolshould have a blank space nearby so that they can write downthe letter that matches the symbol. Brief program instructionsshould also be included on this handout.
•Decide how long to run the program and write one question for eachweek. The answer to the question will be the coded message. Thetrivia used in the questions can follow the theme of the symbols.Create a poster for each week that states the question in plain text andthe answer written in code. Make answer sheets for each week thatinclude the question and a space for each letter of the answer. Be sureto have a place for participants to record their names and phonenumber if you plan to give away prizes.•Swap out the questions and answer sheets weekly, but use the samecode for the entire length of the program.•If you want you can give away a small prize to one participant weekly,as doing so will help keep them interested in the program.
CATCH THE GNOME!• Create your Gnome.• On the back of the Gnome create aquestion requiring patron to search thestacks for the answer.
Hide the Gnome somewhere in the stacks but be sure to make him visibleso that he can be found.
CREATE A NEW QUESTION AND HIDING PLACE EACH WEEK OFSUMMER READING.Make it fun!
SEEK AND FIND• I Spy Jars are fun for all ages and they aresimple to make.• Ideas for I Spy Jars are endless but here’sa few I found.• Take a picture of all the items in the jar.Then have patrons to see if they can findthem all.
• For an older child you could ask them to tellyou the color of the item, the first letter of theitem or have them rhyme a word with the item.• You can have cards with an image of each itemhidden in the jar and a timer - you would drawa card then see if you could find the itembefore the timer ran out.• Again ideas are endless.
LETTERBOXING AT THE LIBRARY• Letterboxing is becoming a favorite outdoor and indooractivity in America as it has been in England.• Libraries can join this international activity by placingtheir own letterbox within the library’s collection.
WHAT IS LETTERBOXING:• Letterboxing is a hobby in which people follow a set ofclues in order to find a hidden box.• Each box holds a logbook and a rubber stamp.• Letterboxers each have their own stamp, which theyimprint into a box’s logbook to record their discovery ofit.• Letterboxers then imprint the stamp from the letterboxinto their own personal logbook.
YOU WILL NEED:• A small metal box (for inside use). It’s best if the metalbox can stay closed so that it can be hung on theunderside of a shelf (the small tins that some breathmints and cough drops are sold in works well).• Magnet if you are using the small metal box. Make suremagnet is small enough to be glued to the bottom ofthe metal box, but strong enough to hold the box to theunderside of a shelf
YOU WILL NEED CONTINUED:• A notebook that fits inside the box.• Rubber stamps – Either purchase premade rubberstamps or design your own with a stamp-making kit.Kits are available online at art supply stores.• Ink pad• A pencil or pen• Prizes (if you choose too).
THINGS TO DO:• Decide where to hide the letterbox.• Create a list of clues that will lead to your letterbox.• Clues should include direction such as: Stand with yourback to the water fountain, Take 5 steps forward, Turnright, Take 3 steps forward., look under the shelf withbooks about hamsters, and so on.• Make the clues progressively harder each week; youcan even consider using misdirection to make thediscovery more challenging.
THINGS TO DO CONTINUED:• Once your program has started, participates can stopby the circulation desk to pick up a clue sheet.• Once the box is found, participate will bring it back tothe circulation desk and they will sign and date alogbook.• Staff will return box to it’s hiding place.
PROMOTING LETTERBOXING• To kick off the letterboxing activity you could have aprogram introducing patrons to Letterboxing. Maybehave them make their own stamps from craft foam andcreate a logbook to keep track of their findings.• For more information on Letterboxing you can go towww.letterboxing.org
COST OF SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• Most Self Directed programs do not require a lot ofsupplies beyond items the typical library has on hand,in addition to the occasional prize.• Don’t forget to promote your Self Directed program.Made sure patrons are aware of activities that areavailable to them.• Remember how you choose to implement the programimpacts it’s success.
DISPLAYING YOUR SELF DIRECTED PROGRAM• Set up the program in a high-traffic area, either nearthe entrance, service desk, or in an area frequented bythe target audience.• DON’T let the program get lost in the clutter.• Set up a display on a table, a countertop, or a piece ofdisplay furniture.• An appropriately decorated bulletin board makes theperfect backdrop for many activities.
MAKING YOUR SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMWORK• The ultimate key to a successful program is talkingabout it. Make sure all staff members are aware of theprogram.• They need to know what the program is, how it runs,where it is set up, and details on how to participate.
TRACKING SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• Tracking attendance is an important tool in judging thesuccess of a program. With Self Directed programs thiscan be a little tricky, but not impossible.• If using a worksheet, consider having patrons turn it inat the service desk.• Design the program so that patrons must see a staffmember in order to participate. With a craft program,this might involve keeping a potentially high-loss supplybehind the service desk.
TRACKING SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS• If your program requires patrons to consume supplies,you can record the quantity of materials you put out,and then subtract the number that remains at the endof the day or at the end of the program to determineparticipation.• Offering a prize can provide strong incentive forparticipation. After completion of an activity, participantscan be given a ticket for a prize drawing later.
RESOURCES• Librarian’s Guide to Passive Programming: Easy andAffordable Activities for All Ages / Emily T. Wichman• Counting Coconuts:http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/2011/02/homemade-i-spy-bottles-tutorial.html• 2013 Collaborative Summer Library Program Children’sManual• Letterboxing: www.letterboxing.org
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