Let’s avoid the “summer slide” (cont.) – Summer reading tip #3

Hopefully if you’re reading this, you already read my first post about the importance of consistent summer reading so that kids experience reading growth over the summer rather than reading loss, also known as the “summer slide”.  Continuing with my tips to promote summer reading, tip #3 is to…


Check out your local libraries for summer programs that might interest your child. This one seems so obvious, but do you know that…

  • Almost all public libraries have summer reading challenges. If your kids aren’t up for coming up with their own summer reading goals or documentation methods (see tips # 1 and 2), most U.S. libraries have both of these built into their summer programs. And, they generally include incentives with all sorts of prizes.
  • Many libraries sponsor summer reading programs for adults as well, so parents can join in on the fun and be great role models for their kids.
  • Many libraries have SO MUCH going on in the summer to encourage reading in addition to reading challenges. Examples include book clubs with discussions, book carnivals, reading to therapy dogs, family nights, craft time, PJ storytime, author events, concerts, puppet shows, child-teen reading buddies, and lego events. The list goes on. And these are generally all FREE.
  • If you’re traveling this summer, it can be fun to check out the children’s sections/rooms of different libraries in the places where you visit. What activities are going on? What does it look like? You might even take pictures of your child reading in many different libraries (another fun summer reading goal/reading documentation idea!). Take a look at Livability.com’s list of the top 10 libraries for children to see if you’ll be near any of these neat libraries this summer!
  • Children’s librarians are great at helping kids find their “next book” based on their interests! Visit frequently enough this summer so that you can help your child get to know a local librarian on a first name basis. Librarians’ enthusiasm for books and reading can be infectious!

It’s easy to get so busy enjoying outside summer activities that we forget about the library. Perhaps scheduling a library time once/week would help to fit it in. And if your child doesn’t already have one, get him/her a library card of their own. Maybe even convey how important that card is by surprising your child with a new wallet or special keychain for the card!


The greatest thing about libraries is that they are a celebration of reading and books, day in and day out, by lots of people from all walks of life. What a compelling way to remind our kids of the importance of reading during the summer!

Have your kids visited any neat libraries yet this summer? Please share!

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2 Responses to Let’s avoid the “summer slide” (cont.) – Summer reading tip #3

  1. Livability says:

    Thank you so much for including our Top 10 Children’s Libraries list on your blog!

  2. Melinda says:

    I couldn’t get past Charlotte on the top ten list. We love the Tustin library, but I think visiting other local libraries will be a goal this summer!

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