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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!
Still need a few more ideas or printable activities? Additional resources here.
CSLP firmly stands against all racist practices, violence and continued oppression of our African American community as well as Indigenous and People of Color. We stand in solidarity with those advocating justice and equal opportunity for everyone. We support those protesting against systemic racism and government corruption.  CSLP is committed to empower libraries to foster community free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, or any other status. We do not condone hate, racism and intolerance of any kind.

Keep Cape Reading!

The Lewes Public Library and Browseabout Books partnered up to found the "Keep Cape Reading" initiative. Starting May 1st, books will be given to students at meal distribution sites--giving students both literal food and food for thought.

"We are going to be helping pack the books, we are going to be helping distribute the books," explains Childcare's Librarian Jennifer Noonan. "We are going to make sure that academic choice boards for kids that may not be able to access the online learning as they want to are going to be put in those bags."

Members of the community purchase books on Browseabout's website and books have been selected for five different age groups. By purchasing them through Browseabout, Noonan says the program helps both students and local businesses.

"It's great because the money is coming through us and we can order all these amazing books but it is helping us keep our staff employed and the lights on in the store," says Browseabout Books Managing Partner Susan Kehoe.

Both Kehoe and Noonan say the program will continue as long as the community supports it, as sometimes access to bookstores and libraries is challenging for students even when schools are open. They say reading is more important now than ever.

All Ages, All Online!

Mervine Nelson, Library Program Coordinator at the Winslow Public Library in Winslow, AZ reported on how the pandemic impacted their June. Their entire Summer Reading Program for the month of June will be using the CSLP Packets to have activities for all age groups. They are syncing participation to earn extra points/badges through the ReadSquare website/app. This approach was something entirely new to them. Check out their awesome calendar of activities!

Make Plans, Change Plans.  Rinse, Repeat.

The Jackson Count Library, Jackson MN, had their whole summer program planned. And then things changed. Library Carrie Dose mentioned, "We had our program set prior to the pandemic so worked hard in revamping our plan to make it work." Because of the pandemic, they will not be holding any programs within the library this summer. Below is their brochure with all the fun events being planned. They will be offering virtual programs as well as some activities that won't require a computer.

Inspiration is What You Make of It!

When looking through the re-imagined manual, Wina Mortenson, Youth Servies Galesville Public Library, WI, built on a few of the ideas. She created pdfs to include the links on their Beanstack site and thier website. Finding inspiration she decided to share her work with the rest of the CSLP community! Liking the idea to make magic wands, Wina wanted to make sure that people would be able to find the materials around their home. The magic beans activity inspired her to create two Jack and the Beanstalk activities for one page.

Magic Wands
Jack and the Beanstalk
Did you have a program that was out of this world? Do you have an innovative idea to help patrons "Imagine Their Story"? 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.

Summer Meals in the Age of COVID-19

By Marisa Glaviano, Youth Services Coordinator, Licking County Library, Ohio
This is our 5th summer participating in the Summer Food Service Program at the Downtown branch of Licking County Library, roughly 40 miles east of Columbus, Ohio. Though it felt old hat heading into Spring, that all changed in early March as we had to evaluate if and how to continue our program during a pandemic.  Well, maybe not “if,” as I knew from the day our library closed to the public on March 16, 2020 that I would fight to continue Summer Lunches.  Luckily, my Director and Public Services Manager are strong supporters of the program, and no fight was required.

However, we knew the program would need to take a new form, as our building is still closed to the public. Furthermore, we, like many of you, are on a skeleton crew until further notice, and until last week I was the only Youth Services person from our typically 10-person team in the building.
Read the full story of how we came to distribute 1,000 meals a week (and growing!) under these conditions and during a pandemic:
The picture below is the bulk of the meals for our June 29 distribution, with ten more tables in another room.

I can’t overstate how strongly I encourage you to participate in SFSP if your library qualifies.  I have done some truly amazing things as a Youth Librarian, but nothing holds a candle to distributing 1,000+ free meals every week to the kids in our community.  And it may not be too late to get started this summer – in my area, most of the other SFSP sites didn’t start serving until our third week, and all of them end the last week of July, while our program goes right up until school starts. 
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • It will take a lot of time, and you will need help. If you are permitted to use volunteers at this time, packing meals is a great option.  Board members want to do something meaningful?  Have them pack meals!  There are very few people that would say no to feeding kids. 
  • You will probably need to invest in bags to sort meals into. Your sponsor may be able to provide bags, or you may be able to get a donation from a local store. 
  • You will need space.  I suggest reserving an area exclusively for packing and staging. 
  • Figure out traffic flow to reduce touching and/or people in the building.  We mark doors as one-way and prop them open. We placed 6-foot markers on the floors and post a sandwich board outside reminding people to observe social distancing. 
  • Be flexible and learn/adapt as you go.  We’ve had at least three program evolutions since we started.
  • You may have to prioritize.  When we first closed, I was so eager to start virtual programming, distance learning, and reminding our patrons that we’re still here even though our buildings are closed.  My Public Services Manager encouraged me to slow down and focus on getting Summer Meals under control, and I’m so thankful she did.  With the huge increase of need in our community, I am happy to be able to focus so much of my time on Summer Meals.
And finally, reach out to your colleagues who have summer feeding programs for guidance, tips, and advice.  We librarians love few things more than sharing knowledge and empowering our communities.  Go forth and feed all the kids!
Make sure to check out the whole story of Licking County’s 2020 Summer Food Service Program experience:

Positives of a Pandemic

By: Elizabeth Boggs, Young Adult Program Librarian, Spring Branch-Memorial Library, Houston, TX
I won’t sugar coat it - this pandemic has been terrible. Libraries have plenty to be positive about though! We have continued to serve our patrons in whatever way possible, including moving our programs to virtual venues like Facebook and Instagram. 
Has this virtual programming actually been successful? Just look at the statistics for a resounding yes! According to Sprout Social management software, Harris County Public Library (HCPL), a public library system with 26 branches in the Houston area, gained 1,721 followers on Facebook and Instagram between March 17 and April 17. That’s a high number by itself, but compare it to last year’s increase during the same period. Last year, only 789 new social media followers were gained, meaning 118% more people started following HCPL during the pandemic (see graph). The library’s virtual pandemic push worked. 
Additional statistics reinforce the positive outcome of increased virtual outreach. Impressions, meaning the social media content loaded on a patron’s device, numbered over 1.085 million for HCPL. This number is a 39% increase from last year’s impressions (see graph). Engagements, meaning the patrons liked, commented on, or shared content, numbered 79,533 for HCPL compared to 50,274 the year before. Another increase, this time of 58% (see graph).
Libraries have moved online more during this pandemic, and patrons have followed. Virtual interactions with patrons are higher than ever. Where do we go from here? Public librarians have been thinking about summer reading programs and the role virtual interactions will play. For HCPL, safety dictates a virtual summer reading program, and the recent increase in social media followers have provided the foundation. The patrons have followed us online, so we know they will be there when we launch our virtual summer reading program.

Graph showing follower growth increase on Harris County Public Library Facebook and Instagram platforms during a month of the 2020 pandemic and during the same time period in 2019

Graph showing increase in impressions on Harris County Public Library Facebook and Instagram platforms during a month of the 2020 pandemic and during the same time period in 2019

Graph showing increase in engagements on Harris County Public Library Facebook and Instagram platforms during a month of the 2020 pandemic and during the same time period in 2019

Screenshot of a virtual gaming program for teens 
from Spring Branch-Memorial Library (part of Harris County Public Library) Facebook page

Screenshot of a virtual yoga program for toddlers 
from Spring Branch-Memorial Library (part of Harris County Public Library) Facebook page

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/TBD; Slogan/"All Together Now"; Artist/Frank Morrison
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