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ATTENTION: Important CSLP website information!

We are doing some fall cleaning on our website and removing inactive users. If you have or have had a login to the CSLP website, and are interested in keeping your account active, please log in by December 31, 2019. If you have not logged in by that date, your account will be deleted. You will be able to re-sign up in the future if you would like to.

Please log in today!:
2020 Incentive will be live September 3rd! Click here to view!

2020 "Imagine Your Story" is Here!

A New Look for an Old Friend!

At the time of this writing the 2020 Program Manual is in full production. After countless hours of work by library volunteers, graphic designers, and State Youth Consultants, the 2020 manual has a brand new look and structure.

As well as a brand new layout, the 2020 manual has a renewed focus on sharing "adaptation ideas". These ideas are designed to help inspire you to look at programming through a wider lens, and provides you with the tools you need to help shape your summer programming to meet the needs of your individual patrons and community.

The print manual is arranged into six thematic chapters, and contains ideas for children, teens, adults, and multigenerational programs. However, your DVDs and USBs do contain the programming ideas arranged by age group, so you still can access all the age specific ideas at a glance.

Early Literacy has seen an overhaul as well. This year you will find five thematic ideas containing a wealth of songs, activities, and tips for a successful summer.

The 2020 manual marks a significant change from our previous layout. Your feedback is welcome, and while we did our best for 2020, with your help, 2021 will be even better!

Speaking of 2021, there is still plenty of time to submit a program idea for consideration for "Tails and Tales"!
Increasingly, public libraries are feeding hungry bodies as well as hungry minds during the summer – and throughout the year. The CSLP’s ad hoc 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, themed downloadables for upcoming programs, and a series of stories showcasing the experiences of libraries around the country. For August, to celebrate the end of summer, we bring you not one but two stories, one from Massachusetts and one from Ohio. Enjoy!

Summer Meals at Palmer Library

By Stephanie Maher, Director, Palmer Public Library

About seven or eight years ago, I picked up a copy of School Library Journal and read about California’s amazing public library summer lunch program. I immediately knew I wanted to start a program like that at the Palmer Library. For years, kids and teens would spend all day in the library during the summer eating junk food or nothing at all. Moreover, I knew from talking with the parents and grandparents in our community that they could use some help during the summer months. Unfortunately, we were short-staffed, I had just taken over as head of the Youth Services Department, and our Young Adult librarian had just left. I kept the idea in the back of my mind, waiting until the time was right.

A few years later, with the Youth Services Staff positions filled, I reached out to someone at the Massachusetts Department of Childhood Services to find out how to start a summer lunch program. They quickly put me in contact with Project Bread and CNOP (Childhood Nutrition Outreach Program). They helped me team-up with the wonderful Food Services Staff of the school system in the next town over in Monson. They were running a summer lunch site through the extension of the Free and Reduced Lunch Program through the USDA at their elementary school and without hesitation agreed to make food for us too.

Our first summer, we served lunch twice a week for six weeks, and we were averaging about 30-40 meals a day. It quickly became evident that we needed to expand, and for the past three years, we have been running the lunch program from Monday-Thursday. The feedback has been nothing but positive, and families, kids, teens, and caregivers are grateful. The biggest surprise was how easy it was on our end. The Food Services team in Monson puts it all together for us, we transport it and hand it out! Word got out quickly about the program, thanks to a billboard put up by Project Bread in the center of town. We got calls from local churches and service organizations asking how they could help. With a combination of staff and volunteers, we have handed out over 2,450 meals to kids and teens in our area! A year ago I was hired as director, and it is my mission to continue this program, grow it, and to find new ways to bring materials, programs, food, and fun to our community!

Filling a Void in Middletown

by Ally Doliboa Youth Programming Library MidPointe Library System

The Middletown branch of the MidPointe Library System is in our fourth year of participating in the Summer Food Service Program. During this time, we have made a handful of adjustments to better serve our youth, ranging from adjusting serving times, Sponsors that best fit our needs, and adding additional meals.

When we started our SFSP journey in 2016, we were approached by a Sponsor that offered hot meals three days a week and cold meals the other two days. We loved the variety that we could offer, and it turned out that our patrons loved the variety as well! Due to our limited room space (the room that we serve lunches in is the same room that we book for our Summer Reading special performers) we opted to try an earlier serving time for our first year; we served from 11 AM to 12 PM. That turned out to be a tad too early for our kids. It aligned well with the programs we offered in the morning time frame and gave us plenty of time to get ready for the special performers in the afternoon, but most of our patrons came in closer to noon for lunch. We kept the same Sponsor in 2017 and knowing that the early serving time didn’t seem to work out as planned, we decided to try serving from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. We still received both hot and cold lunches, and the time combination and the meal options seemed to be a good hit!

In 2017, we more than doubled the amount of youth we served lunches to. 2018 was an unusual year, as our State approval was taking longer than usual for our site to be up and running. Since there are various other sites supplied by a different Sponsor throughout Middletown, we seemed to be losing the youth that we had previously fed for the last two summers. While we were glad that they had access to lunches in our city, we were sad to see our numbers drop. It turned out that our school district had a long summer to finish up a construction project and we wanted to make sure we provided meals to our youth until they returned to school.

Luckily, we had a Sponsor in town that was willing to add us on as one of their sites for the remainder of the summer, since our initial Sponsor did not have that capability. Our kids had access to lunches their entire summer break and that was important to us at the Library, and to our new Sponsor. 2019 brought even more changes for us to better serve our patrons. We got approached by yet another Sponsor that could offer us hot meals Monday thru Friday!

Throughout our years of being a serving site, our most common feedback was asking if we could have hot meals the entire week. With our previous two Sponsors, that was beyond our control. Now we had the option for hot or cold meals – and we decided upon hot meals. Another added benefit we had with this new Sponsor was the option of adding a snack time later in the afternoon. We immediately jumped at this offer, knowing once the word got out, we would have happy youth (and guardians)! While we have had ups and downs over the past four years, our main goal is to make sure the youth in our city have access to healthy meals, and we are doing just that.

Deaf Awareness At Your Library

by Susan F. Cohen, Coordinator, Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library

Libraries have two opportunities to celebrate Deaf Awareness during the month of September.  The first is International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf) and the second, is International Day of Sign Languages.  IWDeaf, an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), was first launched in Rome, Italy in 1958 to promote human rights of deaf people and highlight topics critical for awareness.  In 2018, International Day of Sign Languages, adopted by the United Nations, is now celebrated annually on September 23.  According to WFD, IDSL serves to “raise the awareness of sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages around the world.”
As libraries recognize these two observances, we celebrate the diversity of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community*.  Many culturally Deaf adults usually do not view deafness as a disability.  The authors of “Deaf Culture: Exploring Deaf Communities in the United States” (Leigh, Andrews, Harris, 2018) note in their book:
Deaf culture is a different way of looking at deaf people.  (Holcomb, 2013; Padden & Humphries, 1988).  “It legitimizes how they look at life, how they function, and how they define themselves, not by how hearing people define them."  (Leigh, Andrews, & Harris, 2018, p.   )

Conversely, individuals who became deaf as adults may view their deafness as a disability because they did not grow up as part of the Deaf Community.  While the needs of both communities may be different, the two distinct groups do share many issues in common, including for example, communication access, captioning, and visual accessibility.

*These communities include many subgroups such as non-Deaf and Deaf parents of Deaf children, oral Deaf individuals, Deaf persons with disabilities, DeafBlind persons, and so on.

In the spirit of celebrating Deaf Awareness, we have the following suggestions for library staff:
  • The Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies lists tips on how library staff can best communicate with library customers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
  • Invite Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals to form a Library Advisory Committee to help provide guidance on best ways to reach the target community through outreach, services, and library programs.
  • On the library website and in all marketing materials, describe how deaf and hard of hearing library customers can request accessibility services (e.g. interpreters, assistive listening device systems, CART).Montgomery County Public Libraries’ “Accessibility at MCPL” webpage is one such example.
  • Collaborate with local or statewide Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community organizations to help plan programs of interest to the target community.   
  • Feature titles written by Deaf and Hard of Hearing authors during IWDeaf and IDSL via social media channels or through a material display.
  • Offer ASL classes by instructors preferably native to the language for the community or staff may prefer to sign up for an online ASL language learning course through American Libraries Association. 
For additional information, guidance, or suggestions, contact the Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library.
For Deaf Awareness for library staff, we have these title suggestions:
  • Deaf Community in America: a history in the making, M. Nomeland & , R. Nomeland, Ronald (2012)
  • Deaf Culture: Exploring Deaf Communities in the United States, I.W. Leigh; J.F. Andrews & R.L. Harris (2018)
  • For Hearing People Only: Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Deaf Community, its culture and the Deaf reality, M.S. Moore & L. Levitan (2004)
  • Introduction to American Deaf Culture, T.K. Holcomb (2013)
  • My Life of Language: a Memoir, P.W. Ogden (2017)

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/World-Social Justice-Unity-Kindness-Inclusion-Change-Diversity-Equity-Make a difference-Embrace different cultures; Slogan/”All Together Now” Artist/Sophie Blackall
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