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Virtual Ocean Programming from NOAA

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is the trustee of 15 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments located throughout the United States. These ocean and Great Lakes treasures protect underwater parks and support the coastal communities with recreation, education, research, and more. National marine sanctuaries are living classrooms where learners of all ages can explore, engage and interact with our ocean and Great Lakes. However you don’t have to live near a national marine sanctuary to enjoy its amazing shipwrecks, habitats, and animals.  Videos, virtual reality experiences and other activities can bring the ocean to you no matter where you are.  


In celebration of this year’s Oceans of Possibilities the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is excited to share ocean resources to get patrons excited about the ocean. Use their five Virtual Reality videos to further immerse patrons into their national marine sanctuaries. These 3-5 minute interactive videos can be viewed on a screen, computer, projector or tablet (or paired with a VR headset) and by scrolling, you can turn to see different viewpoints of the video creating a different experience each time. Use the fact sheets and drawing sheets that accompany each video to have additional fun facts to share with the audience. Or share one of our handouts on ocean animals such as coloring sheets and dot to dot activities paired with an  ocean themed book. If you are interested in more free activities, videos, or photos visit their education web page, including the Ocean Guardian Activity Book. Continue exploring the “ocean of possibilities” through our diverse selection of other resources with lesson plans, activities, videos and more.

Direct links to the worksheets used in the videos:
What "Tales" did your library have to tell for 2021? What "Possibilities" do you see for your library in 2022? 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 2022 to use or share?
Public libraries feed hungry bodies as well as hungry minds during the summer – and throughout the year. The CSLP’s Child and Community Well-Being committee encourages library involvement in activities that support wellness, from summer and afterschool meals, to well-being programming, to support for basic needs, all to help children, teens, and communities stay nourished, active, and healthy when school is out. 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.

CSLP Announces the Child & Community Well-Being Video Series

By Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Library Consultant, State Library of Ohio & member of the CCWB
The CSLP’s Child and Community Well-Being Committee (CCWB) is excited to announce a new video series about library programming in support of youth mental and physical health. This series was developed to share successful well-being-focused programs and activities that can be replicated, scaled, or adapted to suit other libraries, communities, and situations.

The video series takes note of the crisis in youth mental health, exacerbated by disruptions caused by the pandemic, and points to ways that libraries can help – and are already making a difference. You’ll be introduced to libraries around the USA who have developed programs and services to address the mental and physical needs of the people they serve.

The inaugural videos in this series total 50 minutes. In that time, you’ll visit
  • a youth-led program in Paducah, KY that gives young people ownership and voice and enhances healthy development through an intentional focus on relationships, support, knowledge, awareness, and resilience;
  • a community-wide initiative in West Hartford, CT, inspired by the book and movie Wonder, that encourages neighbors to help neighbors through acts of kindness;
  • and a summer meal program in La Cygne, KS, that is entirely funded by the library and local community to address food insecurity and promote well-being through programming, physical activity, mentorship, and relationship-building as well as food.
View the series playlist on CSLP’s YouTube channel:
We are seeking contributions to this new video series! Does your library offer an innovative, replicable or scalable (or simply inspirational!) program or service that supports youth mental health and well-being? Work with the CCWB to produce a 10-20 minute video about your program and add it to the Child & Community Well-Being Video Series! If you are interested, contact me at or CCWB Chair Linda Bartley at

Keeping Up with the Readers

by Marcia Literati, Tenafly Public Library
While many libraries continue to use paper sign up and tracking forms, 15% of libraries that participated in the 2021 CSLP survey used an online platform to help keep track of readers and their reading.

The most widely used platforms, Beanstack (29.8%) and READsquared (60.8%), include multiple means of tracking reading on a computer or mobile phone app. Program attendance tracking as well as creating missions or learning tracks allows you to further customize your summer reading program. While CSLP themed artwork is included (or easily added), you can create your own customized artwork to fit any theme you wish. Multiple standard reports are included with both of these platforms.  In general, these platforms base your library’s cost on  size (service population, circulation or budget).
Even though Book Points, Engaged Readers, LitKeeper, and Reader Zone were less widely used in 2021, they include many of the same features as Beanstack and READsquared.
  • Book Points is a free open source platform. While you can download the application to your library’s server for free, you can also opt to have Book Points host your reading site. Your cost for a hosted site is based upon your library’s annual circulation.
  • Engaged Readers from Engaged Patrons is free to libraries with less than 1 million (US$) in spending per year but does not include a mobile phone app. However, Engaged Patrons offers a suite of products so this might be a good choice for your library if you already use their online event calendar application.
  • LitKeeper gives discounts to libraries that use multiple products but doesn’t include a mobile app. If you already use their calendar, EventKeeper, it might be cost-effective and easy for you to add LitKeeper to your summer reading program.
  • Reader Zone allows you to choose to use the app for several months only or for the entire year, and the cost is based on the total number of registered readers. Reader Zone focuses mainly on a mobile phone app but does include a website so that participants can enter their reading from a computer.
While Google Forms are free and widely available, this choice probably requires the most effort on your part to set up and manage.  However, you can completely customize your forms to fit your needs. For example, you can choose to use Google Forms to collect participant names or  you can add more detailed reading tracking information (of course, this requires more time and skill on your part).  Google Forms are not optimized for mobile phones so take care to test your form on a mobile phone to ensure it will be easy for your patrons to use if this is a common way your participants would record their progress.
Before adding an online reader tracking platform, decide what goals you want to achieve for your summer reading program. For example, would your patrons find it more convenient to track reading on their cell phone or would they find that tedious?  Do you want to track additional activities such as writing reviews or teen volunteer hours or are you strictly counting the number of books read?  Many libraries continue to use paper tracking forms with great success, so only add online applications if it will help you and your patrons have a more successful summer reading experience.
Websites for applications mentioned in this article:

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

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/"Adventure Begins at Your Library"; Artist/Juana Martinez-Neal

2025: Theme/Art; Slogan/TBD; Artist/Brian Floca
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