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Carmen Deedy (CSLP Summer Reading Champion) will be reading books all summer long; Fridays at noon Eastern. Don't miss out!

Rockin' Storytime - Imagine Your Story!

This inspirational video was organized by Melodie Ashley at the Smith Branch of the Salt Lake County Library.
Bee, a librarian, is having a difficult time using her imagination because of all of the changes to her life this year. She misses her patrons and library colleagues, so she talks to friends to help her to not feel discouraged. They sing songs and tell stories until she finds her imagination and embarks on a magical road tour with friends.
How did you "Imagine Your Story" during this very unusual 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 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.

The Public Pantry at the Woodstock Public Library

By Martha Hansen, Assistant Director / Head of Adult Services, Woodstock Public Library, IL
In early February (pre-COVID) the Woodstock Public Library staff wanted to have a small food pantry available in the library. For several years we have had a 'Cold Weather Clothing' Bin for people in need, where they could pick out what they needed to get through the winter months. The bin included hats, mittens, socks and, starting this past winter, a rack of coats. All the items were donated by the community. Adding a food pantry seemed a natural progression to help those in need in our community. We had a piece of audiovisual furniture that wasn't being used so we transformed it into a small food pantry inside the library. It was an immediate success and very well received. 

Then the pandemic hit, and we were faced with closing our doors. Finding a way to continue providing the pantry became a priority for the staff. The outdoor pantry took on several evolutions until we found a solution that worked. We started with plastic tubs (first just one, then two, then three). The tubs were not ideal, as people had to kneel on the ground and handle everything inside to find what they needed. The next version of the pantry was a small metal cabinet on a table, which was a great improvement over the tubs but didn't hold a lot of food or toiletries and wasn't waterproof. Finally, we purchased a small outdoor shed that is working out perfectly. The shed has shelving and drawers inside that allow us to organize the donations and make it easy for those in need to find what they need. 

The library re-opened this week and so we have the indoor and outdoor pantries fully stocked for all who need to make use of them. There is a clipboard available so that folks can write down if they need something specific and I'm proud that our community has been so responsive. Early in July, we put out the call that we were out of toilet paper for the pantry and we received cartons of donations. One couple has scheduled regular Instacart deliveries that come straight to the pantry, which is wonderful. It is such an easy, positive, way that we can help our community get through this crisis and we are so pleased to be able to do it.

Next month the CSLP newsletter will feature a gallery of Little Free Pantries hosted by libraries, and some tips if you’d like to start one at your library. If your library already hosts a Little Free Pantry, or an indoor pantry shelf, or other community food distribution site, please send a photo to the Child and Community Well-Being committee via and we will include it!

COVID-19 Can't Stop Literacy

By Aimee Adams, Events Coordinator, Medina County District Library, Ohio

2020 has been one heck of a dumpster fire of a year for stats. Many of us faced forced closures due to our states’ restrictions, budget cuts, and layoffs, and we saw the very real fear of COVID-19 at our doorsteps. If your library is like mine, the Summer Reading Program (SRP) is our biggest yearly event. It is my favorite time of year, and I’m frustrated with COVID-19 for taking that away from my families. In April, I sat on video conferences with my coworkers, assessing how we could make SRP work this year. We wanted to be a beacon of normalcy in these crazy times. After all, the heart of SRP is the enhancement and improvement of literacy skills.

In a survey of 100 library employees representing 33 states and 3 Canadian territories, I discovered 100% of respondents are still offering a SRP. Reasons for modifications include:
  1. Health/safety concerns (95%)
  2. Library closures (62%)
  3. Lost time in planning (14%)
  4. Budget cuts (10%)
Despite a global pandemic, “libraries adapt, that's what we've always done, it is what we will always do” as one respondent stated. I received many comments that libraries and SRP are more important than ever with the quarantine delays this past spring. One response was so optimistic I feel compelled to share: “If you are able to still provide a modified version of your SRP you should. Everyone has had to [adjust] and [make] accommodations because of the pandemic and the library is no exception. We are also able to set example for our community on how to be flexible and do our best to make it work.”

Remember: you are all rock stars at what you do. We are setting examples on flexibility, adaptability, and demonstrating our bedrock value of literacy.

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