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Cindy Crushes Programming: Reading Colors Your World! by Teen Librarian Cindy Shutts

Summer Reading is here once again. At the White Oak Library District we are so excited to start our summer reading program on June 7th. Our theme is the ILA Theme: Reading Colors Your World. This year we are going forward with a full reading program and we are excited to see the patrons return to the library. 

Our plan for Summer Reading for teens will have a Reading Log which is a coloring sheet. We plan to have the total of hours reading for teens to be six hours which is the same as our children’s department. We want to make sure we are making our program easy for parents who have children who are in both programs. We know this last year for parents has been very difficult. This year we are having crayons be our sign up prize for registration. We are using a log that they can color in and we thought crayons would be the perfect sign up prize.

This year we are having a new summer reading system for teens and children. We are going with a badge system. We read articles that libraries who started the badge system have an increase in circulation. We would love to have an increase in circulation at our library. 


Our badge system has eight badges. We are so lucky to have our marketing person, Kiya Morrison, made them look great. My co-worker Faith Healy helped come up with the fun names. Last year we had planned to use badges but the pandemic did not give us any time to get ready for Summer Reading in 2020 so we did the most basic program. We used our button maker to the badges.

  • Crimson Knight Badge: Signing up for Summer Reading
  • Marigold Master: Doing a Craft Kit. 
  • Bumblebee Bot: Attending a Virtual Program
  • Sage Wizard: Volunteering
  • Cerulean Selkie: 2 hours of Reading
  • Lavender Lizard: 4 Hours of Reading
  • Bubblegum Baker: 6 Hours of Reading (1 Log)
  • Rad Rainbow: 18 hours of Reading.  

We are hopeful the teens will like our new program. We still plan to have mostly virtual programs since we had everything planned before our state went into the Bridge to Stage Five. We are starting to return to have teens return to in person volunteering. 

How is your Summer Reading Program looking this year?  How are you handling the pandemic and summer reading this year?What theme is for your summer reading program? 

Cindy Shutts, MLIS

Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.

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