Resources from Upstart

???????????????????????????????You may be familiar with Upstart as the official vendor for the Collaborative Summer Library Program. I don’t order products for the State Library other than for summer reading, so I never gave much thought to Upstart beyond that. However, I recently discovered that Upstart offers a variety of free activity guides that are available online to help you develop library programs. They include “suggestions for bulletin boards, book displays, games, crafts, recipes, writing project, special events and more.”

These are themed activity guides, and while Upstart has also designed matching products you can purchase to use, such as bookmarks and certificates, I was surprised that the activity guides themselves are not simply ads for these products. Granted, you may need to purchase items to execute some of the ideas, but they are just as likely to be supplies you would have to purchase for any library activity program, not necessarily Upstart products. Many include free reproducibles, and you don’t have to purchase anything to find value in the ideas they present. Think of them like mini summer reading manuals – a good starting point, but some tailoring my be required for your specific situation.

Some themes include:

  • Pete the Cat
  • Dr. Suess
  • Take your child to the library
  • Reading road trip
  • Read like a rock star

Demco also has an Idea + Inspiration site that features a smaller selection of Upstart Activity Guides.

Also, be sure to check out LibrarySparks, Upstart’s magazine for librarians. You can view many of their resources online. The Web Resources section offers web resources and article resources. The article resources I looked at included activities and printables. You can also view past issues in the archive.

Have you used any of these guides as starting points for programming? Where else to you find ideas for library programs? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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