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The 2021 Incentive Catalog is live! Click here to view!
The mysteries of the sea floor, plate tectonics, ocean currents, water, seashore, the atmosphere, and more! Submit your best 2022 Oceanography programming idea today!

Help Support Bilingual Storytimes!

CSLP is redoubling its support of bilingual storytimes, and we need your help in this effort. For our 2021 program we have laid the groundwork to help practitioners introduce more Spanish language into their programs. We are hoping to expand these offerings in 2022. Please take a quick look at these sample pages from the 2021 manual:

Focusing on Early Literacy, we are in the process of building a committee tasked with the development of bilingual and/or Spanish language; booklists, songs, and fingerplays, as well as creating general tips and guidelines for running a bilingual storytime and tips for enhancing your current storytimes with more bilingual or Spanish language activities.

We will be forming our committee soon. If you have a passion for Spanish language, or bilingual storytimes, and would like to help, please contact Luke Kralik at

Announcing the winners of the 2020 Teen Video Challenge!

Despite the pandemic closing schools early, and despite most libraries being closed this summer, we still had over 70 inspiring teens submit videos to the TVC this year!

If you need something to lighten your day, please check out the winning videos! The passion and hopefulness of these young people pops off the

Please feel free to link to these videos and share them with your patrons.

A huge thank you to all the teens who participated in the contest, and to the judges for all their hard work to make this program happen!
How did your library "reimagine" 2020? 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 for 2021 to use or share?
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 help kids and teens stay nourished, active, and healthy when school is out. 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.

Summer Feeding During COVID - Charleston County Public Library

By Devon Andrews, Manager of Community Engagement, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Photos (labeled Summer Meal 2020): from our food distribution program at our McClellanville Library that serves a rural area of Charleston County. Thanks to a partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank, we were able to provide free snacks all summer to anyone under 18. In the photos, you can see kids not only getting their snacks, but also showing off their prizes that they earned by participating in the Summer Reading program!
Like most libraries in the country, our summer looked very different this year as a result of COVID-19. However, thanks to our amazing school district and local food bank, our branches remained a consistent resource where families could find food all summer long.

Ten of our 17 branches are eligible to participate in the Summer Feeding program. Although our branches closed in the public in mid-March, we resumed curbside services right as the Summer Reading and Summer Feeding programs were scheduled to begin. Through our partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank, three of our rural branches were able to hand out free snacks to anyone eighteen and younger three days a week. Through a second partnership with Charleston County School District (CCSD), we were able to provide even more food than in previous years. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, CCSD’s Nutrition Services staff delivered hot lunches to our seven remaining Summer Feeding branches.

Not only did kids and teens receive a hot lunch on these days, but they also received a shelf-stable lunch and breakfast to take home for the days without hot lunch service, including enough to cover the weekends! As a result of these partnerships, we were able to distribute over 11,000 meals to almost 3,000 children and teens that visited our libraries!

In addition to providing a reliable source of nourishment for families over the summer, we were also able to promote our Summer Reading program to families who may not have internet access, thus helping prevent Summer Slide in a time where students had already been without in-person interaction with their teachers for several months.  

To ensure the safety of patrons and staff, all of the wonderful Summer Reading performances and programs that can usually be found in our branches were moved online. In an effort to reach and engage those who don’t have consistent internet access, as well as those who needed a break from screen time, branches assembled a variety of Take and Make activities, with supplies and instructions for patrons of all ages to do crafts and STEM experiments at home. The feedback we received from patrons for these Take and Make activities was wonderful, and branches were able to showcase their creativity by creating unique activities for kids, teens, and adults. We also received kits of art supplies from our local art museum to give away at a few of our Summer Feeding branches, as well as tomato plants, nutrition-based activities and information from the food bank to encourage gardening and healthy eating.

Thanks to the amazing efforts of our community partners and library staff,  we were able to continue to meet the needs of Charleston County residents through our feeding program, and to provide them with the learning, fun, and sense of normalcy for which they rely on their local library.

Safety and Statistics

By: Elizabeth Boggs, Assistant Branch Manager, Katherine Tyra Branch Library, Houston, TX

Safety and statistics – two things that can seem incongruent in today’s world. We want to keep our patrons safe, but we also want to provide in-person programming, the success of which we typically measure by turnout. How do we balance these ideas?

Right now, libraries have to prioritize safety, even if statistics are lower than they previously were. It’s a crazy world, and we should be proud of ourselves for providing any programming.  As we return to some in-person programming, safety becomes even more important. Patrons are responding positively to this new, safety conscious programming model. In other words – it appears that if we sanitize it, they will come!

For example, according to Charlene Tolbert, the Youth Services Manager of the Bellevue Public Library in Ohio, an average of 9 people attended their weekly Storytime at the Park programs in August. Tolbert and her staff kept patrons safe by hosting the programs outdoors. They painted circles six feet away from each other to make sure patrons could stay safe in their own “bubbles.” While the program presenter interacted with patrons, a second staff member enforced these social distancing guidelines, allowing the presenter to fully focus on providing the best program possible. With all these precautions, the public loves the return of enjoyable and safe programming!

Statistics must be combined with patron feedback and information on all the safety precautions to give a full picture of today’s programming. You won’t see the entire impact of the program without statistics or patron feedback, and you won’t be able to host a program without keeping safety in mind. In the end, then, statistics and safety, incongruent as they may seem, have to go hand in hand in today’s library.

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

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

2022: Theme/Oceanography; Slogan/"Oceans of Possibility" Artist/Sophie Blackall

2023: Theme/Kindness and Friendship; Slogan/"All Together Now"; Artist/Frank Morrison

2024: Theme/TBD; Slogan/TBD; Artist/Juana Martinez-Neal
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