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Since 1990 the British Columbia Library Association and public libraries throughout the province have sponsored a Summer Reading Club to encourage summer reading and public library use by children and families in B.C. Registration in the club is free and includes special programmes and materials to record reading over the summer. Posters, activity sheets, bookmarks, reading records, stickers and other novelty items, used as incentives, are also part of the club. A manual containing programme and craft ideas, resource lists, etc. is distributed to the libraries early in the spring to enable librarians to plan for the Summer Reading Club. And, last but not least, a web site is designed to provide an electronic component to the "club".
How does all this happen?
It happens because of people in our public libraries who volunteer to participate in the Summer Reading Club Committee and who spend a great deal of time coming up with ideas, working with artists, graphic designers, printers and other suppliers, producing a manual and on and on and on. It happens because of the libraries that these volunteers work for which generously allow their staff the time and resources to participate in the committee. It happens because of the generosity of the Library Services Branch which provides the majority of the funding as well as staff time at both the Victoria and Burnaby offices. And, it happens because everyone involved knows the value of reading and public libraries.
Every year the composition of the committee varies. Some members stay on for a year while others provide some continuity by staying for two or more years. Members come from libraries that are geographically spread out all over the province. They meet via telephone conference calls, email and faxes and once in a while some actually meet face to face. All members of the committee are responsible for contributing programme and craft ideas, booklists and other information for the manual and some members also sign up for specific tasks such as constructing the web site and working on promotion. It is a great deal of work but we all get to know each other quite well over the year and we all feel a real sense of accomplishment when we realize how many libraries and how many children have benefited from our efforts.(In 1998, over 67,500 children registered in the programme and 76 public libraries and reading centres participated in the Summer Reading Club.)
The members of this year's committee for "A World of Reading" include:
Alison Campbell and Allison Haupt, North Vancouver District Public Library,
are Summer Reading Club Coordinators
Happy Reading! from the BCLA Young Adult and Children's Services (YAACS) Interest Group and the BCLA YAACS Summer Reading Club Committee.
The Summer Reading Club is a joint project of the B.C. Library Association and the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Library Services Branch. Please send your comments and questions to: