Summer is upon us and that means Summer reading at the library. In an effort to keep kids from suffering from the learning gap that accompanies the long school break and to get people in to the library we offer a host of incentives including prizes for the kids who meet their personal reading goals and activities nearly every day of the week. It also means that kids of all ages, sizes and under various forms of supervision (or lack thereof) descend on the library like a swarm of army ants, swarming over every available inch of floor and low laying display space and leaving a swath of chaos behind them. Books are used as flotation devices, stepping stones, building blocks, and weapons of mass destruction by the armfuls but rarely as the vehicles for transporting kids to other times and spaces (oh that this could be done literally and not just figuratively!) I love kids and I love the library but sometimes they just don’t really seem to go together.
I realize getting them into the building, even if they only come for the puppet shows and never crack a book, is half the battle. They’re aware of the library, they feel comfortable here, we make a name for ourselves in the community and hopefully as the years go by they remember us and return often and maybe even use us for our books. In the meantime we have bedlam in the program room and anarchy in the stacks. So, I dose myself with heavy duty, deep dark chocolate, keep the Advil at the ready and mentally prepare for the daily onslaught, counting down the days to my stretch of unemployment (while trying not to think of the lack of paycheck that will mean.) Bring it kiddies, bring it!