I’m Chris Miller, the librarian who runs programs for youth at Coquitlam Public Library. One of our most popular programs every year is the BC Summer Reading Club. Kids who join get a beautiful folding booklet featuring illustrations by a B.C. artist, plus some extra goodies such as a bookmark, and a small craft or activity sheet.
The Summer Reading Club (SRC) goal is to read for seven weeks: 49 days. Kids who complete that goal earn an SRC medal at the end of the summer.
This year, COVID-19 forced the SRC organizers to pivot. Knowing that physical distancing concerns would affect registration, the organizers hired a company to build a web-based version of the club. The web version has allowed kids to join and participate without visiting a library building.
Among other things, the web SRC has made it easy for kids to track their reading, awarding them a “badge” (an online version of the stickers kids usually receive) after they complete seven days of reading.
Just as the web version of the SRC launched, our library re-opened, allowing us to give away paper booklets, too.
So far, so good – but what about the medals?
In the past, the library gave away medals at huge ceremonies inside the library featuring local dignitaries such as the Mayor, city councilors, library board members and others. The ceremonies were crowded. Hundreds of people came.
In other words, they were something we could no longer do.
We struggled with the idea of how to distribute medals this year, but decided in the end that simple is best. We are giving medals away from our help desks at both library branches, as well as our Mobile Library (Library Link). Staff won’t hug or high five you, but they will give you a big smile, a thumbs up, and the most important thing of all: the medal proving how hard you worked at your reading this summer.
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