Summer Reading Programs

Hey Friends!

Today, I’m going to talk a little about the everyday stuff inside the library…I’m hoping to give non-librarians a glimpse into what we consider the norm. For those of you who don’t know, libraries decide on a theme is for each annual Summer Reading Program (SRP); to keep things easier and more coherent, most state libraries agree on a certain theme nationally.

Contrary to popular belief, the American Library Association (ALA) DOES NOT decide the themes, but often works with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) or the Illinois Reading Enrichment and Development (iREAD) program.

(You can read about it all here if you really want.)

Previous themes have been “Dig into Reading” for those like dinosaurs and/or buried treasure, “Spark A Reaction” to get kids into science, and lots of other generic themes. This year, it’s “Escape The Ordinary”. That’s right…THIS YEAR WAS SUPERHEROES.

So let me ask…How was Summer Reading Program?

tony stark

Iron Man was too perfect for this.

What insanely cool stuff did you have that worked? Anything that didn’t? Anything you thought would flop but turned out to be a big success?

For our library, we started with having a city skyline, complete with villains and heroes at our circulation desk.


The trash can is where you put criminals.

Once you got to our reference desk, you’d swear we had the Bat-computer!

reference wall

I bumped that ball with the masks EVERY day. Tall people problems.

We took comic books that were being withdrawn and put them to good use lining the wall behind our desk. If you’re curious, the comic book ring is strips of comics taped around an inflatable pool ring. Genius!

The use of spare comics didn’t end there. String up some comic book pages, a little rope, a Spider-man made from cardboard, and you have a web-slinging display!


Reads whatever a spider can…

Not only did we make our areas fun, we even made them interactive! One wall in our children’s area was made into a photo op wall where you could fly with a cape!



I know, greatest shirt ever.

How do we get capes flying, you ask? Quite simple really!

  1. Cut up a t-shirt so you only have the neck and back for your cape.
  2. Tie clear fishing line to the cape corners.
  3. Have another librarian pull on the fishing line to give the flying effect.


    LIKE SO!

  4. Crop said librarian out of the picture. Ta-da, you’re a superhero!

We also had a wall where you could post your funny pics, but only about three people posted. Hey, you can’t win them all.

All of our posters and flyers were a big success. Superheroes reading?



The one that really surprised me was the Batgirl poster I made. I made it to show patrons that librarians are heroes too, but it turns out all the librarians want one!

batgirl librarian

Now accepting orders.

One of our staff even made fashionable fighting head bands!


That’s right, our ladies were walking around with BOOM!, BAM!, WHAM! and many others during the summer. Awesome, right??? I work with such talented people who need to start their own Etsy shops.

Speaking of Etsy shops, you guys should take a look at my sister’s Etsy shop, Phoenix Fire by Ash! She makes scarves, pencil/dice bags, tote bags, baby bibs, pot holders, and does custom orders as well for all the nerdy librarians and book worms in your life. I’ll show off some of her great stuff in an upcoming post, be sure to check out her Facebook page in the meantime!

That’s all for this week. If you want to see more awesome photos and ideas, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get every update and photo!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian













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