Read Sing Play

Adventures in early literacy

Summer Reading Visits: What’s My Name?


Summer Reading visits are right up there with storytimes for my favorite part of my job. The kids are always so excited to talk about books and see someone from the library. Books and reading are so cool and fun! And even though they always love hearing about the Summer Reading Club, and swear they want to sign up, we all know that not all of them do. Now, there are lots and lots of reasons keeping kids from signing up for the program, but I vowed long ago that I would not be one of those reasons. I want them to want to come in the library SO bad they beg their caregivers to take them. But how?

Our collection is cool, but it isn’t always cool enough to get them in. I need more. Ok, the prizes are cool, too. But what kids really love is knowing someone important and feeling important themselves. In my library, I am the only children’s librarian. And I’m not always on desk. So if kids come in they would need to ask for me if they wanted to talk, etc. This occurred to me half way through a class presentation last week. So, at the end of the presentation when I did my pop quiz about dates and other things related to SRC, I also asked “What is my name?” They were stumped! I always introduce myself, but they hadn’t thought to listen for that detail. After many guesses, and the teacher winning the pencil at stake, they ALL knew my name.

But that’s not good enough. How do I make them USE my name to get me to talk to them in the library? Without being Heisenberg.

I’m placing my bet on jokes! Kids love telling jokes probably more than they love food. Ok, maybe not that much, but a lot. I always end my presentation with a bad joke. And they always want to tell me theirs. So today I said this: “Come into the library, ask for me (what’s my name? KENDRA!!!!!! they scream), tell me a joke, and I’ll give you a sticker.” They’re already making plans with their friends about which joke they are going to tell me after school today. I’ll be ready for them, so fingers crossed I get to give away LOTS of stickers this summer!

And, of course, while they’re here, they can get signed up for Summer Reading.

What are you doing to get kids jazzed about coming into the library?


Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

12 thoughts on “Summer Reading Visits: What’s My Name?

  1. I love this so incredibly much! I hope beyond words that you share some of the jokes. I need to suggest this to our children’s librarian since we just found a workaround to the district’s edict of “no talking to the kids” – I so badly wanna see bewildered parents being dragged into our library so they can tell Miss Jennifer a joke! XD

    Thank you so very much for sharing this brilliant idea!

  2. Also, your use of Breaking Bad here makes my heart sing!

  3. Very cool idea!

  4. Ok, ok, spill! What jokes are your favorites to tell? I just love this idea!

    • Hi Laura! My favorites definitely change periodically, but right now I’m really loving this knock knock joke. Mostly for the resulting eye rolls and because lots don’t get it, which is also hilarious. Knock Knock. Who’s there? Little Old Lady. Little Old Lady who? I didn’t know you could yodel!!

      I’ll do a follow up post probably next week with the jokes I’ve heard so far and more of my favorites to tell. šŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment!

      • I just used this yesterday in a series of assemblies (5 in a row… hello no voice today!) and it was a HIT. You are a genius! I ended up telling “What’s a superhero’s favorite drink?” (Fruit punch!) (and then I added a “POW!” for flourish). One of the kids guessed “Powerade” which I feel was quite brilliant, too. Not only does everyone know my name now (or they should cause they all shouted it at me several times), but I’ve already heard two jokes! Thank you thank you!!!

      • Yay!!! This is so excellent!! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Kendra, I ā¤ you. I've never thought about learning my name as a central point during classroom visits, but it is something that can really build confidence. I'll have to remember to do this next year!

    • Aw, thank you!

      Let me know how it works out if you try it. So far, I’m giving it a 2 thumbs up here. Lots of kids asking for me by name and stopping in to say “Hi, Miss Kendra!” So fun! And hopefully I’m now more approachable.

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