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Puss-in-Boots Puppet Play!

- Alas and alack! My brothers have inherited our father’s mill and donkey, and all I have is a cat. A sweet kitty, but still – it’s a cat!

We've all been there. Just when life seems to offer fame and fortune on a silver platter, someone gives you a cat. Usually, this event does not translate into a very interesting story, and certainly not one you would consider basing a puppet show script on.

However, do not despair! CSLP's own Treasurer, Anne Lemay, has a wonderful adaptation of a Puss-in-Boots story. This adaptation is stage ready, and perfect for a summer performance.

The complete script can be found in the Online Manual, and through this direct link:

Need a star for the show? Puss-in-Boots puppets are available in the CSLP online store:
Did you have a program that was out of this world? Do you have an innovative idea to help patrons "Imagine Their Story"? Please send your photos, ideas, 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?

Imagine Your Story with Canva

by April Mazza

As CSLP state representative for Massachusetts, I collect statistics and information from nearly 300 public libraries throughout the Commonwealth regarding their summer library programs. One common theme from year-to-year is the desire for more marketing ideas and promotional tools.

I was thinking about how to support this need when I learned of CSLP’s revised Rules of Use, which now allows for members to use artwork and slogans on any print materials. I also happen to use Canva, a free, web-based design tool, and have taught workshops on how libraries can use it to create engaging print and digital materials. It seemed like all these things aligned into a new learning opportunity I called “Imagine Your Story with Canva: Using Visuals to Enhance and Promote Your Summer Library Program”.

In addition to covering CSLP resources such as the ROU, fonts and colors, and downloading the artwork from the manual, we also make use of the new Social Media Toolkit which has fantastic suggestions for social media content and an easy to implement timeline. The in-person, hands-on workshops are accompanied by an online guide: which will be updated in the next few weeks as new resources become available. I have made many of my designs available as templates on the guide and I invite you to access them through Canva (you can easily register for a free account if you do not have one). You will then be able to customize any of the designs to fit your library’s summer program.

If you are new to Canva, check out the “Getting Started with Canva” link under “Resources” where you will find a recorded webinar as well as links to Canva tutorials on everything from tips & tricks to design skills.

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 is developing resources to support and encourage library participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and other initiatives to support health, wellness, and community well-being. These resources include the Libraries and Summer Food page on the CSLP website; a Facebook group for news, support, and resource-sharing; and an ongoing series of stories showcasing the experiences of libraries around the country.

Food for Thought at the Somerville Public Library

by Lilly Sundell-Thomas, Deputy Director and Meg Ragland, Programming and Outreach Librarian Somerville Public Library, Somerville, MA

People in Somerville, Massachusetts, love to garden. But in a city with more than 80,000 residents packed into just over 4 square miles, the safe and affordable opportunities to do so are pretty limited. Wait list times for a community garden plot can take as long as two years! We wondered: could we transform some of the library’s green space into a teaching garden, and build programming around it to promote health and wellness, teach practical life skills, and build community?

In 2018 we applied for, and were awarded, a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and in 2019 we began an urban gardening initiative at the Somerville Public Library (SPL), which we named “Food For Thought”.

Using the grant funding and partnerships with local businesses and organizations, SPL created a raised-bed teaching garden on the Central Library lawn to provide residents of all ages with the opportunity to learn about and experience hands-on planting, harvesting, and maintenance of the garden, and to develop their capacity to garden at home in containers and the small green spaces available in Somerville. Supporting programs and activities included hands-on gardening workshops throughout the growing season, an Arbor Day and Urban Gardening Fair and a harvest festival, urban gardening lectures, cooking workshops, mobile library pop-ups, and children’s programming.

The Arbor Day/Urban Gardening Fair is a great example of the power of community partnerships. The fair was a community event that took place during the City’s SustainaVille week (SustainaVille is home to the City’s programs and initiatives to reduce the community’s contribution to climate change). The program was originally slated to be a community planting day to celebrate the Library’s new gardens, but we were able to widen the scope to become a mini-sustainability fair by partnering with the Somerville Office of Sustainability & Environment and the Somerville Urban Forestry Division.

Our event included not only planting of the raised bed gardens, but also crafts and activities for kids (the worm bin was a huge hit), tables from local gardening and environmental organizations, and tree planting at a nearby park.

Based on the success of the program and building on the foundation afforded by the LSTA grant, we’re very excited “Food for Thought” will continue into its second year in 2020!

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

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

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

2022: Theme/Oceanography; Slogan/TBD Artist/Sophie Blackall

2023: Theme/TBD; Slogan/"All Together Now"; Artist/Frank Morrison
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