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Big Changes in Store for CSLP in 2020!
CSLP was created by librarians to make it easier for any library to run a successful summer program. By working together, we have been able to share artwork, ideas, and resources. 2020 will bring several changes to the CSLP program. These changes are grounded in our tradition of collaboration, and will continue to "...empower libraries to foster community."

Please keep an eye out for communications from your CSLP State Representatives, and this newsletter for more information. Some of the notable changes for 2020 are:
  • New look and structure for the Program Manual
  • One artist for all four age groups
  • New shopping site
  • Fully revised Rules of Use
As always we look forward to hearing your feedback, and acting on your suggestions. If you ever have a question for these or any CSLP activity, please contact Luke Kralik at or Karen Day at
Register your Summer Learning Week Event or Program (NSLA Summer Learning Week is July 8-13)
Be sure to check out this year’s webinars for help planning and running a successful 2019 program. Webinars can be found here:

2021 Tails and Tales - Ideas needed!

CSLP encourages the collaboration of innovative and age appropriate ideas, resources, and programs through the production of its manuals. The manuals include program ideas, booklists, decorations and activities for age groups, from babies to adults. Since public librarians are our users of the manual, we want your ideas! You know what will work best in your libraries. Use the form below to submit your idea and any related materials (pictures, worksheets, etc.).

The theme for 2021 is: Animals
The slogan for 2020 is: "Tails and Tales"
Submit your programming idea now!

If your submission is chosen, you will have your name and library system listed in the manual!

Questions? If you have a question about this, or any other CSLP related topic or issue, please send an email to or We look forward to your questions!

Summer Peeps!

This outstanding library program was shared by Miki Wolfe, from the Sharon Public Library in Sharon, MA.

The library does a Peeps Diorama contest in June (they selected June as they are a religiously and culturally diverse community, and this way there's no association with any religious holiday. Plus it makes the Peeps much cheaper to purchase when they are on the discount rack!)

Each patron who registered for the program was given a package of Peeps, and basic instructions for the contest. They had a week to design a Peeps diorama based on the CSLP summer reading theme of "A Universe of Stories." While this is a suggestion, they celebrate the creativity of all their patrons and however they choose to interpret the instructions. No diorama is rejected for not following the rules.
The dioramas are displayed in the library's front lobby, and anyone who walks through the door can cast a ballot. Each ballot allows for two votes, as there were complaints last year about how difficult it was to choose only one favorite. Photos are also put in an album and posted to the library's Facebook page to allow for online voting (every like or comment counts as a vote.) People in the community really enjoy seeing the creative efforts of their fellow citizens, and it generates a lot of conversation and library visits. 

It's an easy program to do, as the patrons are really doing all the work! Our Friends group purchases the Peeps, and they supply gift cards to local businesses are prizes (the kids don't know it, but they have arranged for everyone who entered this year to get a $5 gift card to the local ice cream shop.

Some final details from Miki: #9 won first place (the telescope Peeps.) In three days, we had 120 in-person votes, and over 380 online votes. Plus, we've gotten over 70 likes in one week on our Facebook page (our usual average is in the single digits.) For a fairly small-town library, this is huge! And it's so much fun to see our patrons get excited over an event

A Universe of Stories in a Memorial Day Parade!

What a great way to spend Memorial Day! Librarian Michelle Beaulieu shared these wonderful photos of the Highgate Library and Community Center's, Highgate, VT, participation in their city's Memorial Day Parade.

She was joined by staff members Erica Benoit and Paloma Valenta, as well as a library board member, and library patrons and their children. Before the parade they held two costume making days, and it was all so much fun for everyone!

Life-sized Space Game!

Librarian Sue Prifogle, director of the Rushville Public Library, Rushville, IN, sent in this wonderful photo of a life-size space themed board game they created at their library.

The rules are very simple:
  1. Each player rolls one die each turn and moves that many spaces (and does what the space tells them).
  2. As you near the end (the Space Station), you must roll the exact number that will land you on the space station. You can't go past.”
Sue was generous enough to share the files for the game, and invites you to create it and run it at your own library. Files can be downloaded here:
Did you have a program that brought a little music (or actual rocks) to the world this summer? Or, some out of this world plans for a space themed program? Please send your photos and any informative details to Luke Kralik at: I would love to share them in our newsletter.

Looking for some ideas to use or share?
Now available on the CSLP website:
Libraries and Summer Food
A how-to guide to help you connect kids and teens with healthy food when school is out
Increasingly, public libraries are feeding hungry bodies as well as hungry minds during the summer – and throughout the year. The CSLP’s Child and Community Well-Being committee supports and encourages library participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and other initiatives to help kids and teens stay nourished, active, and healthy when school is out. The CCWB committee is pleased to offer the new Libraries and Summer Food Guide on the CSLP website and a series of articles showcasing the experiences of libraries around the country. Past articles are available on the Resource List section of the Libraries and Summer Food Guide.

Summer Meals at the Library

Anne McLaughlin, Head of Youth Services

West Warwick Public Library, Rhode Island

Lunch at the library?  Imagine a children’s librarian jumping up and down in excitement at a meeting with other community agencies. That was the response of this children’s librarian reacting positively to the proposal that perhaps the public library would be interested in being a summer meal site for 2016. Our library was meeting with other community agencies  concerned with the health and well-being of the town.

Our connections in these Health Equity Zone meetings, including the Food Access committee, led us to connecting with the school department lunch company provider, Sodexo. They already offered summer meals at summer programs based at the school and were very willing to expand to providing summer meals at the public library.

The 2016 CLSP summer reading theme “On Your Mark Get Set, Read”   focus on health and fitness provided a perfect launching pad for offering summer meals at the library.   A wonderful partnership was formed with the school department and Sodexo, and since 2016 our library has offered summer meals four days a week for six weeks, serving just under 600 meals the first summer to over 1000 the third summer.

Lunches are delivered to the library and trained library staff(usually 2 of us) hand them out. Lunch is very much a social event with no stigma for children up through age 18. Families with children of all ages, including a sizeable group of teens, eat and socialize in our air-conditioned program room where we set up about 8 tables and 40 chairs with many preferring to sit on the floor picnic style.  There are coloring pages, games to play, and a box of “free” books to take home. Summer learning programs are now structured around lunch and have included morning family music programs, playgroup and legos, free ballet class, storytime, a book discussion group,  and  field trips.

Afternoon programs right after lunch have included  science clubs,  Wii gaming, chess and board games. Our youth staff includes two full-time librarians and two part-time support staff so teen staff – paid and unpaid - have been invaluable for room set up and clean up plus help with programs.

Most programs are presented by staff, but we also have a volunteer who teaches ballet,  a family music program at a nominal fee, and we have even had school librarians present programs.  Teen volunteers play the piano and flute during lunch and play games with children after lunch.

We have made the most of connections  in the community with summer youth employment programs, the local community garden,  and a  local farm which supplies food for farmer’s markets.  For three summers now we have  hosted a  farmer’s market,  and had family field trips to the local farm,  and the local community garden, all centered around lunch.  Our library has never been busier in the summer and books fly off the shelves.

What could be better than that?

LGBTQIA+ Inclusion All Year Long

by Julie Phoenix
St. Louis County Library - Prairie Commons

Growing up as a lesbian with no role models, no Internet, and no information (even at my public library – I looked!), was really difficult. As a youth librarian, I never want any of my library families, children, or teens to feel that sort of isolation. Some libraries are further than others in embracing the LGBTQIA+ community into their collections, programming, staff, and space. Regardless of where your library lands on the spectrum of inclusivity, there are simple ways you can make your programming, space, and speech more welcoming for all. Here are some tips I like to share with my allies at work.

1. Skip gendered language.
Do you find yourself saying “boys & girls” or “ladies & gentlemen” during programs or when addressing patrons? Don’t! This can be very triggering for non-binary and/or transgender people. Try “friends” or “y’all” instead. It takes a minute, but you’ll get the hang of it.

2. Don’t assume gender.
This is just good practice all the way around. If someone hasn’t told you their gender or pronouns, use they/them pronouns to be safe. The “singular” rule on this pronoun is antiquated.

3. Don’t be afraid to change it up.
I change the pronouns in books and songs all the times. I also rarely read picture books with a mom & dad in them. Whether you realize it or not, if you only read books with “mom and dad” families – you are telling everyone in the room that there is a social norm that is preferred. If I really love a book that does feature a mom and a dad – I will change the language to make it more inclusive. It is ok to go off script!

4. Don’t assume family dynamics.
Do you ask for a child’s “mom or dad” or “parents” when questioning them? Don’t! Simply say “Where is your grown-up?” or “Who did you come with?” There are so many types of families – and so many reasons to change your language here.

5. Make inclusive displays.
Make sure your displays include LQBTQIA+ books and authors all year long (not just Pride month). This does take intentional planning and learning about LGBTQIA+ authors. Maurice Sendak, Becky Birtha, Todd Parr, Jacqueline Woodson, Arnold Lobel, Margaret Wise Brown, and Tomie dePaola would all be great picturebook choices. *Shout out to those that knew those authors are part of the LGBTQIA+ community!*  

6. Host LGBTQIA+ programming.
I host a monthly Pride Coalition for middle school and high school as well as a quarterly Rainbow Story Time. If your administration won’t let you host Queer specific programming, try adding some Queer books to your programming. I feature Queer artists in my Art Club throughout the year, Queer history in my informative programming, and Queer scientists in my STEM programming.

7. Wear flair.
If you are allowed to wear buttons or pins on your lanyard or name tag, add a small rainbow pin or ally button. I know many LGBTQIA+ folks who look for these little signs of safety to put them at ease. I have teens tell me they love my buttons regularly. Many times…those same teens are the ones who come out to me at some point. Don’t forget about email flair. I have my pronouns listed in my signature, do you?

8. Be in the know.
Follow blogs, join groups, research! To start, check out the Rainbow List and Stonewall Book Award lists. ALA’s GLBT Round Table even has a toolkit open to all that will get you on the right track.

9. Build that collection.
Even if you aren’t in charge of acquisitions you can still make suggestions as you see materials pop up. Email your buying staff, reach out to patrons who can make requests, and ask other staff members to do the same!

10. Advocate for training.
If this is all new for you, or if you have staff struggling with inclusivity, advocate for all staff diversity training. Look for an outside consultant – preferably Queer owned. If you can’t find anyone – reach out to a local Pride Center and see if they have suggestions or resources for you.

Obviously, there are huge endeavors that also need to be addressed within public library spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. However, I can assure you these small changes will not go unnoticed in the day to day interactions with your LGBTQIA+ patrons. It does take intentional work – but you’ll find it gets easier with time. Start with one or two changes and add more as you go and you’ll be on your way to making your space more welcoming. If you have any questions or need help with implementing these tips – feel free to send me an email!       


What is on the horizon for CSLP?

2019: Theme/Space; Slogan/”A Universe of Stories” Artist/Leeza Hernandez

2020: Theme/Fairytales, Mythology, Fantasy; Slogan/”Imagine Your Story” Artist/LeUyen Pham

2021: Theme/Animals; Slogan/”Tails and Tales” Artist/Salina Yoon

2022: Theme/World-Social Justice-Unity-Kindness-Inclusion-Change-Diversity-Equity-Make a difference-Embrace different cultures; Slogan/”All Together Now” Artist/Sophie Blackall
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