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Looking for some additional "grab and go" content to share with your patrons? Check out the summer reading resources from the Alabama Public Library Service:
Right now orders are taking 4 - 5 weeks to process, but there is still time. Place your order today!
2021 Tails & Tales themed StickTogethers available for preorder. Click here to view!

2021 CSLP Summer Reading Champion!

Guide Dogs for the Blind’s VP of Outreach, Admissions, and Alumni Theresa Stern and yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog Wills!
Guide Dogs for the Blind’s VP of Outreach, Admissions, and Alumni Theresa Stern and yellow Labrador Retriever guide dog Wills

It is with great pleasure to announce our 2021 Summer Reading Champions Theresa Stern and Wills from Guide Dogs for the Blind!

Since 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind has been creating partnerships between people, dogs, and communities. With exceptional client services and a robust network of instructors, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired from throughout the United States and Canada.

All of the services for their clients are provided free of charge, including personalized training and extensive post-graduation support, plus financial assistance for veterinary care, if needed. Their work is made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers; they receive no government funding.

For more information visit:

Introducing Herbie the Snake!

A feel good story, I am sure many of us can relate to. After a lifetime of service in domestic shipping, Herbie the Packaging Material found a gratifying second career as a snake at the Estancia Public Library, Enstancia, NM. With the help of librarian Angela Creamer, Herbie has reached his full potential and spends his days helping promote their summer reading program.
What new Tale are your creating at your library this summer? 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?

What does remote programming mean for patrons without access to supplies?

by Raven Frost Creech

In the age of COVID many libraries have adopted online programming, remote programming, and “grab n’ go” programming to keep patrons and staff safe during this time of limited contact. Libraries have started assembling craft kits with instructions for children, teens, and adults. From toilet paper roll rocket ships to construction paper holiday cards, there is no limit to what you can DIY.

While kits may contain construction paper, paper plates, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, and other crafting materials, some patrons may not have the supplies necessary to construct the crafts at home. Consider creating a package of safety scissors, glue sticks, crayons, and other supplies needed to create the craft in its entirety, and offering it to patrons that express the need for these items.

There is an assumption that many patrons will have these supplies at home. However, patrons that do not, will be excluded from participating. Before COVID, many patrons relied on borrowing such supplies from within the library to complete these activities. There are options for cheap and safe scissors that do not need to be returned to the library, so you can continue to maintain your library’s repertoire of supplies for when in-person programming resumes. Remember, always ask a parent or guardian before supplying children with safety scissors and/or glue!
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.

2021 Summer Food Update

by Shane Hoffman

As we all know, Covid has changed everything we do. Unfortunately, those changes have not generally been for the better. We have adapted. We have overcome. We have moved much programming to the web, and we have Zoomed to our heart’s content and well beyond. One bright side to all of this is that we now get to see everyone’s pets on a regular basis.

Hunger did not take a break due to covid. In fact, it has seen a dramatic increase. Thanks to the USDA granting waivers to the way the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Afterschool Meals (CACFP) work, many of the barriers libraries have faced have been eliminated. It was recently announced that those waivers have been extended through the 2021-2022 school year. What are these changes, and what does this mean for the future?

As for the changes to these systems, each state has the discretion to implement fully, partially or not at all. Therefore, you will need to visit your state’s administering agency to see exactly how those changes are at work in your state.

Waivers in place:
  1. Eligibility reduced from 50% Free and Reduced Price Lunch participation at nearest school to nearest school simply participates in National School Lunch program. That means that well over 99% of the US is now in an eligible zone.
  2. Congregate feeding is no longer a requirement. You can now do grab and go meals.
  3. You are no longer limited to only serving one meal at a time. You can provide a week’s worth of grab and go meals at a time, up to ten during the summer and five during the school year.
  4. Meal times are now more flexible and parents can pick up grab and go meals for their children.
Keep in mind that your library does not have to be in an eligible area to run a program. You merely have to serve the meals at an eligible location. This is a great opportunity to make partners and increase visibility in your community. We operate or have helped set up six in our community since the pandemic began.

What does this mean going forward? I was able to attend the 2021 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference this March. At this conference we heard from several people from Feeding America, FRAC and other organizations. We also heard directly from Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman along with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. I was also able to sit in on phone calls with two of the three members of Congress who represent me. The results of all that information were very positive.

Hunger issues are relatively bipartisan, especially since the pandemic began. There has not been this much energy to work on Childhood Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) for a very long time. CNR is the process by which Congress looks at and updates laws regarding childhood nutrition, such as SFSP and CACFP. It is supposed to happen every five years but has not been looked at since 2010. Even then, many of the pieces governing these programs are still in place from the 1980’s or even 1960’s.

There is recognition that the waivers in place have had a huge impact on local communities. There will almost certainly be formal action taken this year or next to update these programs with the positive outcomes waivers have produced at the forefront of the discussion. The only real question seems to be just how many of these waivers will make it into the updates and if they will go as far as they do now. The good news, of course, is that it looks like many provisions will be updated, eligibility increased, and paperwork decreased.

The overall result is that, from now through the end of next school year at least, libraries should be able to take advantage of changes to SFSP and After school Meals to increase access to nutritious meals for youth in our communities. We also have hope that the increased access and ease of implementation will be extended, to some degree, going forward.

Shane Hoffman
Plain City Public Library

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

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

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

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

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