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Be sure to check out this year's Teen Video Challenge Winners!:
The 2022 Products have launched! Check them out today!

Please join us for our first Summer Symposium! Full details can be found here:

  • Who is this conference for? All library staff that are interested in summer programming.
  • Where is the conference? Virtually anywhere with an internet connection.
  • When is the conference? Thursday December 2, 2021 ~  11:30 am – 4:30 pm (EST)
  • How much is the registration fee? FREE!!!!

Register today!

Making Coralina, the Giant Papier-Mache Whale!

The Southeast Regional Library (Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC) only started offering limited in-person programming in June, so the staff had a bit more time leading up to summer than normal. Melissa Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, was inspired by Salina Yoon's whale artwork for Tails & Tales and started dreaming about a giant whale hanging in the children's area.

She kept talking about this idea until one of their library assistants sent them a video by Make Anything on how to make a papier-mache whale. After getting the green light on this project, she reached out to more staff, and together, a team of us designed, sculpted, painted, and decorated a 7-foot-long whale that we named Coralina!

They used foam core and chicken wire to make the frame, then did traditional newspaper papier-mache for the first layer. They next made a clay mixture that provided great texture after it dried. Then, they painted her with acrylic paint and ink, used Sculpty clay to make the barnacles, and sprayed the entire whale with Spray Lacquer to give her a fresh-from-the-ocean-like sheen.

Make Anything had great step-by-step instructions, and they followed their recipes for most of the process. Luckily, they had most of the materials already on hand—chicken wire from a previous project, glue, paint, newspaper, foam core, and flour. In total, they only spent about $25 on the project. It took about five weeks to complete, with five people working on the project for 1-4 hours each week.

Making Coralina was a fun team-building project that got both their Youth and Adult services departments working together, and the patron feedback has been great too! They plan to hang her up again next year for Oceans of Possibility.
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.

Feeding Children & Teens After School at the Library

By Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Chair, CSLP Child & Community Well-Being Committee & Library Consultant, State Library of Ohio
Want to make a difference for your children and teens? Consider feeding them after school! Many public libraries do – typically through the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Libraries that offer afterschool enrichment activities can participate in the At-Risk Afterschool Meals component of CACFP and provide a daily nutritious meal or snack to 0-18 year olds.

The need for this program has never been greater. The pandemic has brought a sharp increase in economic instability and food insecurity. Many families do not know how to access free meals for children, and if they don’t participate in a formal afterschool program, their options are limited.
Libraries and CACFP are a great fit! Libraries offer equitable treatment, dignity, respect for young people, and accessibility. Your library is a trusted community center which always welcomes children and teens and is famous for giving stuff out for free.
CACFP is also good for the library. Besides addressing hunger and supporting vulnerable youth – and mitigating behavior issues that can be exacerbated when a child hasn’t eaten in hours – participation offers:
  • Access to new user groups, especially underserved and marginalized populations;
  • Increased visibility of the library as a community asset;
  • Opportunities for new partnerships;
  • Positioning of the library as an important stakeholder in community well-being and positive child outcomes;
  • Support for afterschool programming through increased attendance.
Libraries do not have to purchase or prepare the food. Library staff typically receive temperature-controlled or shelf-stable meals/snacks dropped off at the library, coordinate and manage distribution or sit-down mealtimes, and handle cleanup.
This is an ideal time to participate. Like the Summer Food Service Program, CACFP is a state-administered program paid for by federal funds. These programs exist to support children and teens in low-income areas. Ordinarily, an area eligibility requirement limits participation to areas where at least 50% of children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
But for the 2021-22 school year, this area eligibility requirement has been waived by the USDA to address economic impacts of the pandemic. Depending on your state administering agency’s application of this waiver, your library may be eligible to participate this year even if you aren’t in an area defined as low-income. Note that you will likely not be eligible in 2022-23 if your area has under a 50% free/reduced school meals rate. But you could maintain an afterschool snack program independently of CACFP, in partnership with a foodbank or other community provider, or through donations, or by including the cost of snacks in the library budget.
If you’re interested in becoming a CACFP at-risk afterschool site or have questions about the program, use this map to identify and contact your state administering agency:

Social Workers in Libraries

by Raven Frost Creech

You might notice a new job opening at your library involving social work. Whether your library has been on the social work train for a while, or is just hopping on, there has been a relationship forming between libraries and social work. Social workers are a tool for the patrons, but also the staff. Social workers can help the staff in the form of offering training, and/or identifying areas in need of improvement. Social workers can act as liaisons between the library institution and local non-profit organizations. Some libraries are choosing to use social workers to spearhead their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

No matter what your institution chooses to use a social worker for, social workers have proven to be useful additions to the library industry. If your library does not have a social worker, consider recommending the addition of a social work position to your director or board of control. If your library does have a social worker, get to know them and ask them more about their position!

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/TBD
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