Summer Reading … Library Tour

As a quick reminder, I have been working with one of my favorite Moms to create a  Summer Reading series just for you. Jamie from Hands On: As We Grow and I will be posting reading tips, activities and ideas all summer long. Last week we focused our Summer Reading on Quiet Reading (make sure to read the comments and leave some tips for me as well)!

This week I want to take you on a Library Tour. How fun is that?!?!

Fun way to learn about our local library... including a free printable! (part of a summer reading series)

Explore your Local Library with a Library Tour

In our town we have two fantastic libraries. One is big, new, has a huge children’s section and an incredible view. The other is a bit smaller, there are less windows so it feels a little darker and cozy. The children’s section is nice, kept up and organized really well. We love them both, but each of us has a favorite.

This got me thinking. Libraries vary so much in size, book selection, staff, extras that are offered…. what if we took a Library Tour over the summer and visited libraries in our county? The idea has been rolling around in my brain for way too long! I’m excited it’s almost summer (only a couple more weeks).

I couldn’t wait (plus I wanted to make sure I gave you plenty of time to let this one sink in) so we did our fist library tour and it was blast. Here’s how it went for us…

  • Our county has a wonderful library website that lists all of the libraries in our area along with the hours they are open. We took a look at the list and picked one. (It was easy to choose this time, we went to the one closest to my sister so we could get a little cousin time as well).

Fun way to learn about our local library... including a free printable! (part of a summer reading series)

Fun way to learn about our local library... including a free printable! (part of a summer reading series)

  • We hit the library with our book bags, checklist and a pencil in hand. The kids had a great time searching out the items on the list and I was able to enjoy that they were learning important things about the library in a fun way. They found the checkout station (different than our libraries because we have self checkouts), they found the book drop and somewhere to sit and read comfortably.

Fun way to learn about our local library... including a free printable! (part of a summer reading series)

  •  My niece T took her checklist very seriously and filled out every section. Little M filled out most of hers but got distracted by a book she found and didn’t finish the checklist. This should be fun and there really isn’t a reason to fill it all the way out unless you WANT to! I imagine some of the checklists will get more attention than others, depending on the library and time of day.
  • Figure out which checklist items are the most important to you and make sure those get done first. For me it’s: librarian’s name and early reader books.

Library Tour Notes and Variations

  • Save these checklists or make a book out of them. When summer is over you can look through each page and see which library was your favorite and which ones you wouldn’t want to visit again.
  • Compare the libraries. Is something the same at every single library? What is unique about each one? Was there a librarian that was particularly helpful? Was it harder to find the easy reader books at one library than another? Why?
  • The librarian was very interested in what we were doing and I was glad to have printed an extra copy that I could leave with them. You might want to do the same. Wouldn’t a Library Tour Checklist be a great thing for libraries to hand out to kids as they enter the library?

What’s your next stop? I’ll tell you…


  1. I was just in a class about how to effectively use your library… There are so many ways! The things I took out of it were:
    1) It can’t hurt to ask about a book that you want to see added to the collection. The worst that will happen is they’ll say no.
    2) If you like certain books, check them out! If books get read in the library and never get checked out, they won’t know that they are well-loved. Circulation records determine what stays and what goes.
    3) If you have an interest in something specific, feel free to ask about it. You might even be able to get them to set up a special program if you have a large enough group that is interested. For example, if you want to see the books on bees, honey, and apiaries, ask if they can put together a program through the day (pick a time when they are not busy but your group is free) revolving around a topic. It might just mean that they compile the books onto a cart for your group to look through, but hey, now you get a room to yourself and you can have fun learning with friends.
    4) Ask about the e-resources available to you! There’s usually so much that we don’t know about.

    Since each library is different, getting a tour/orientation is a wonderful idea! It looks like you had fun!

  2. Wonderful tips and blog posts you have about promoting libraries. We need more people to promote libraries as there is so much you can do with your kids especially for summer reading programs! And the the best part us they are free!

    Especially with the technologies these days of iPads, nooks and video games hopefully libraries will still be here 20 years from now. Being that I’m a kids magician, I love to promote reading and get the kids excited to check out lots of books during the summer reading programs at libraries all over Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and even New Jersey!
    But, thanks again for your wonderful tips Wanda.

    I’ll like to share a blog post of mine that also helps libraries to promote themselves and become more visible in the light of all this digital distraction for kids. So feel free to share this to anyone:

  3. Hello from a new subscriber and fellow teacher (near) Toronto, Ontario! What a wonderful idea to promote and tour libraries! It’s that time of year again to promote summer reading, and I think I’ll follow your good example and give a shout out to our area libraries, too. Excellent post. Keep in touch,

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