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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!:
The 2020 Incentive Catalog is live! Click here to view!
Ideas needed for the 2021 Program Manual: Tails and Tales. Click here and submit your idea today!

Additional, and User Submitted, Content in the Online Manual

One of the reasons CSLP exists is so that libraries do not have to "recreate the wheel" each year for summer reading. However, what if someone at your library excels at wheel creation? Wouldn't it be great if there was a platform where they could share their work for the benefit of all member libraries?

Enter the "Online Only Materials" in the Online Manual

In the Fall of 2019 CSLP changed its Rules of Use so that member libraries can use the artwork and slogans on any paper product. This includes bookmarks, flyers, reading log, banners, certificates, etc. If your library leverages this rule change, we encourage you to share your creation with all CSLP libraries.

Please send an editable file to, he will add them to the online manual as he receives them. Be sure to check the manual from time to time to see what your colleagues have submitted!

So Many Little Astronauts!

The Ashland Public Library, Ashland, MA, usually hang up nametages for each child who registers for their summer reading program. However, this year they did something different. Librarian Lois McAuliffe reported that this year they purchased a photo printer and downloaded the NASA selfie app. Each child who registered at the library was turned into an astronaut! At the end of the summer the children could take their photo home.

Blast Off!

Librarian Angela Creamer from the Estancia Public Library, Estancia, NM, sent this wonderful photo of a rocket her library created. The face of the young patron captures the wonder summer reading can bring!

NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott!

NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott paid a visit to the Braden River Library, Bradenton, FL. Youther Services Librarian Christine Culp was impressed with how generous Nicole was with her time. She stayed at the library and shook hundreds of little hands, and posed for photos. Children were able to ask questions like, "What kind of food do you eat in space?" and "How do you sleep on the Space Station?". A wonderful way to end their summer of space!

Spacey Successes in Wyoming!

Library Manager Linda Naoi Goetz, Lincoln County Library, WY, shared that they had a very successful program this summer. Highlights include:
1. Creating Aurora and Nebula art with YA kids
2. Walking inside a planetarium with Wyoming Stargazing
3. AstroFest! weekend with our own DIY planetarium and DIY constellations, Asteroid MiniGolf in the stacks, and partnering with Fossil Butte National Monument to hear an astronomy lecture and view some really dark skies through telescopes.
4. Meteorite Scavenger Hunt looking for rocks painted with constellations, which collectively made up a phrase about the library. Prizes for finding a rock or solving the word puzzle were real meteorite and tektite fragments.
5. A Universe of Stories bookmark art contest!
Did you have a program that was out of this world? Please send your photos 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 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; a new Facebook group for news, support, and resource-sharing; and a series of stories showcasing the experiences of libraries around the country.

Summer Meals at the Hemet Public Library

by Jennifer McNeal, Hemet Public Library, Hemet CA

The Hemet Public Library is a single branch, city-funded library of 86,000, located in Hemet, California. Our local school district reports that 80% of students are on the free and reduced meal plan at school. Library staff posed the question, “If our goal is to prevent summer slide and keep children reading, how can children concentrate on learning when they are hungry?” With so many children facing food insecurity, the library decided to take action to help ensure that children continue to get meals during the summer school break. In 2015, the library approached the local school district to see if we could serve as a summer meals site for the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, and a partnership was formed.

 For the past 5 summers, lunch has been served at the Hemet Public Library on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (the week days that the library is open). The library is fortunate to have an indoor, multi-purpose room where lunch can be served. The school district prepares the meals at their facility and transports them to the library every morning. School district staff serves the food to the children between 11:30 am – 12:30 pm. The library provides refrigerators, storage space for dry foods, as well as tables, chairs, and staff time to cover clean-up after each meal. The school district handles all of the paper work relating to the USDA program. During the 2019 summer, 1,849 meals were served at the Hemet Public Library over 19 days.

After serving as a lunch site for several years now, my advice to those looking to start a program at their library is to start early! Working out the logistics with your partners, whether that is the local school district or another community food organization, takes a great deal of time. There are insurance issues, contract logistics, local government approval, etc., that will pop up during the process.

Summer lunch at the library has become a central part of the Hemet Public Library’s annual summer reading program. Over the past several summers, library staff noticed a decline in event attendance if the event was more than an hour before or after lunch was served. Consequently, summer reading events now revolve around lunch time, with many activities happening during lunch. The library has many community partners, such as local authors, museum staff, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and the County Public Health Department, who provided free lunch-time activities. Having community partners greatly reduced the strain on library staff to provide summer entertainment. The Friends of the Hemet Public Library and the Hemet Public Library Foundation provided financial support for the library to hire professional entertainers to provide library patrons with fun, unique, and educational activities. Altogether, the Hemet Public Library was able to provide an activity practically every day for lunch attendees. On days when there was going to be a big performance following lunch, such as a magician, the number of lunch attendees doubled. The school district was provided with a copy of the library’s summer events schedule so that they could plan accordingly.

As part of the summer lunch at the library, the library has an optional survey for lunch attendees to complete. One of the questions included is “Where else do you get lunch?” While most of the responders said they get lunch at home, a few said that they did not get lunch anywhere else besides the library. To know that because our library is a summer meals site, a child did not have to go hungry that day, makes all of the work surrounding the process worth it.

Blindness Awareness Month

by Outreach Librarian for the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

In October, many blind and low vision individuals celebrate Blindness Awareness Month. This isn’t a celebration with parties or balloons but rather a renewal in the energy in promoting accessibility, fighting stereotypes, and promoting equality. They do this through carefully crafted events like Meet the Blind Month and White Cane Day.

Libraries are for everyone, and one way that libraries can promote inclusion is to incorporate events, programs, and materials that are focused on those with visual impairments. Some ideas can include:
  • Highlight audio description in your DVD and movie collection
  • Host an accessible movie day by showing a movie with audio description
  • Invite your local talking book and Braille Library/library for the blind and physically print disabled to host a program at your branch
  • Invite local groups that work with visually impaired clients on a tactile tour of your library
  • Create a tactile art workshop that incorporates Braille, large print, and audio functions
  • Host an accessible technology fair, complete with demonstrations and interactivities
  • Host a talk that dispels myths about having visual impairments

Of course, this list isn’t all-inclusive, but rather just the beginning. As more individuals develop low vision and other visual impairments, libraries become a lifeline. By highlighting their accessibility, libraries engage with a user group that is often under served.

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

2023: Theme/Oceanography; Slogan/TBD; Artist/Frank Morrison
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