5 Ways to Boost Library Traffic During Children’s Book Week
Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the United States. Hosted by Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring a lifelong love of reading in children and teens, this initiative celebrates its 99th anniversary this month. Over 700 libraries, bookstores and schools are participating this year, hosting storytimes and activity hours that align with the “One World, Many Stories” theme. Since this special week is right around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of ideas for bringing patrons into your library to celebrate Children’s Book Week and beyond.
1. Choose stories that bring your community together.
Storytimes are a staple for libraries, and Children’s Book Week creates a great opportunity to punch them up a bit! Consider running with the theme of “One World, Many Stories” by hosting storytimes that feature bilingual books or stories that highlight culturally diverse experiences. To encourage attendance, invite special guests, such as local authors or other well-known community members, and get patrons of all ages in on the act by partnering with community centers or nursing homes to host multigenerational storytimes.
2. Bridge the age gap with coloring.
Coloring used to be “just for kids,” but the increasing popularity of adult coloring books means that those times are long gone! Invite readers of all ages to participate in the fun by making this relaxing activity a key part of your Children’s Book Week celebration. Younger patrons will love the coloring bookmarks and origami bookmarks from Demco. Every Child a Reader also offers a free anthology comic, “One World, Many Stories,” which features some of the most well-known children’s graphic novelists. The comic is available digitally but can also be printed for patrons to color themselves.
3. Get moving.
Scavenger and treasure hunts can be a great way to engage patrons of all ages for Children’s Book Week, or any event for that matter. Hide pictures or stuffed animal characters from beloved children’s books around the library and have patrons look for them. Teens and families might especially enjoy a treasure hunt, where, by solving a series of clues, participants are led to a prize. Clues could be book themed or feature particular sections of your library. To increase community engagement, consider teaming up with outside partners to create a community-wide hunt that begins and ends at your library.
4. Partner to extend your reach.
One effective way to extend the reach of the library and increase participation in your programs is to partner with outside organizations. Start with asking sports leagues, after-school programs and local Boys & Girls Clubs if they’ll help promote your programming to their participants. Community members from all different types of backgrounds participate in these extracurricular activities, so celebrate the “One World, Many Stories” theme by inviting them to the library to share crafts, books and food from their cultures.
5. Keep the fun going all year round.
There’s no need to stop celebrating Children’s Book Week after it ends on May 6! Keep the fun going with an engaging and creative summer program, or better yet, a year-round reading program. Wandoo Reader, Demco Software’s reading management system, was developed to help libraries like yours maximize their reading programs. Its challenge feature allows libraries to create engaging activities, or challenges, that bring patrons into the library, highlight physical and electronic collections and resources and strengthen their communities.
Wandoo Reader also allows libraries to promote relevant events to increase patron awareness, and it features robust reporting so you can make data-driven decisions about how to engage your community. Read about how the Crowley Public Library uses Wandoo Reader to fill the “reading void” after summer in this case study, and check out our 10 Tips for Creating Fun Activities in Wandoo Reader for additional suggestions that can help you increase engagement during Children’s Book Week and beyond.