- The dogs are volunteers, which makes this event almost FREE to the library.
- One staff member is available during those 2 hours to sign kids up and keep things organized and moving.
- We take reservations the day of the event only.
- We leave the program room free of chairs and push tables aside. Everyone sits on the floor with the dogs. The owners also pass out a collectible card with their dog's stats on it as a keepsake to participants.
- Each dog typically takes one 5 minute break.
- Children sign up in 15 minutes slots, though not every kids uses the whole time. Some finish reading early and cuddle the dogs while chatting with their owners. Some finish a book and head back out to the rest of the library.
- Kids will sometimes bring their own book, but often choose from a selection of beginning readers we pull that day and leave by the door.
- It is easy to fill empty spots by approaching patrons on the floor the day of the event and asking if they'd like to meet one of the dogs. This program has gained in popularity as awareness of it has grown, though 2 dogs would often be sufficient to fill demand.
- While we advertise this as a program for kids to practice reading on their own, we don't turn away Ks and 1s. When it's slow, we've even been known to let preschoolers pet the dogs while their adult reads aloud. If it is busy, however, we encourage older and younger siblings to share a time slot.
All in all, this is a great, simple, literacy-based program and we see lots of smiles.