Ingram Blog

Don’t let Life Sidetrack Literacy

By: Briá Woods 
School supplies are at the cash wraps, vacationing is winding down, and weekday routines are slowly repositioning. While summer is still here, schools will be back in session soon and summer Fridays at work are ending. After their regular life of extracurricular activities, late-night meetings, and binge-watching of Netflix, how do we keep literacy at the forefront?  

1. Supply the Necessities    

One thing about today’s consumerthey want a one-stop-shop for their needs. With school starting back and a new quarter starting in the work world, why not make your library their NEW #1 stop?  Host a “Back to Reality” program with school supplies for all grade levels, market your resources and key items for success for the new school year, or gear back up after summer. Check out what these librarians did to keep students reading on track. 

 2. Support Local “Librarians” 

Everyone is not keen on heading to the library and some can find it intimidating. People are often in spaces where they have a lot of idle time: laundromats, hair salons, doctor’s offices, barbershops, and more. Why not bring the book to the patron instead of the patron to the book? This is a  developing movement supported by librarians to bring literacy to all spaces. Connect with your local nonprofits and business and bring your advocacy and literacy outside of the library walls.  

3. Get Them There 

We want them reading everywhere, but patrons have to get there. "There" could be to work, school, or to another library branch across town that has that YA title they can’t wait to read. Increasingly across the country, public libraries are launching free public transportation through a bike-share program. Can your library partner with your local transportation department and offer free services? This incentive is a great way to maximize attendance at your library, create a healthier environment, and promote a healthier lifestyle. 

4. Inspire Them to Read 

While librarians’ jobs have changed from only being the book expert, it is still an essential aspect of their everyday role. Every patron is not accustomed to becoming lost in the long aisles of books to guide their interest. Some require a little help to awaken their inner bookworm. Create a virtual book display for all ages (Adult, Children, and Teen). If you want to take it a step further, start a competition for which the family that reads the most during the academic year wins a prize.