Programs Youth Services

The Subscription Box Trend? A Library What-if

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If you hang around Pinterest or any kind of child or parenting websites you’ve probably noticed a hot new trend for parents with disposable income: subscription boxes. Parents sign up and pay and every month or so a new box comes in the mail filled with things for their child. There is a huge variety in content from organic bath products, to clothing, to craft kits.

So, if this is a big thing how can we make it work for libraries? Imagine if parents could come in each month and pick up a packet of early literacy ideas for their child’s age and then select books from a coordinated display. I’m not saying we have to include expensive activity materials, although the possibilities of grant funding would interesting.

Maybe the packet includes a tip sheet, a book list, and things that could be cut out like 5 little duck finger puppets. Maybe we could include something like Amy’s Early Literacy Calendar.

What if we partnered with a local hospital or public health organization to include developmental milestones and health and wellness tips along with our literacy message?

What if we did the same monthly concept for older children, but instead we featured an author each month?  The parent would pick up a bunch of activity sheets and expansion ideas to go with our featured author whose books would be highlighted. Send families home to make paper for Denise Fleming month, or help kids learn to draw their own cartoons for a Mo Willems packet.

What if each month was a different country or time period with a book list, database links, multi media links and enrichment activity ideas?

What if we had monthly or quarterly packets for high school sophomores to get them prepared to think about college? What if in that case we could offer some kind of web based guest speaker series so teens could tune in any time that month to learn about things like FAFSA, test prep, campus visits and other related topics?

What other ways could we take the subscription concept and make it work for us?

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