View this email in your browser
The 2021 Incentive Catalog is live Click here to view!
Coming April 1: "Tails and Tales, Part 2", a supplemental collection of worksheets and resources to support your library mitigate the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Teaming up with StickTogether!

CSLP is pleased to be collaborating with StickTogether Products to offer two Sticker Mosaic Puzzle Posters for the 2021 Tails and Tales Program. StickTogether is a fun way to get EVERYONE in your community engaged and excited about the Summer Reading Program and working together as a community.

Think ‘paint by numbers’ but with stickers and for large groups.

Choose Tails and Tails Giraffes, or the CSLP Chameleon sitting on top of a book. The kits can be purchased at for $36 per kit.  Orders will be shipped in early May.
If you are new to StickTogether, here is how it works: First, hide the cover so no one knows what the image will be – it’s MUCH more fun when you keen them guessing. Then just unfold the poster and attach it to the wall (3M Command Strips work well) or place it on the table. Use it as an easy, relaxing icebreaker to build excitement at the beginning of the Summer OR use it as a reward for attendance or books returned. There are ~4,000 stickers per poster, so you create a reward system that works for your patrons and timing.
Let’s ALL StickTogether to make Tails and Tales a community-wide success!
How did your library "reimagine" 2020? 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 2021 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.

Food as Fuel for Mind and Body: Russell Library’s Charlie Cart Project

By Catherine Ahern, Head of Information Services, Russell Library, Middletown, CT
Over the past year the Russell Library has participated in an exciting program – we believe it is a first for Connecticut. Using a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Connecticut State Library, our library purchased a Charlie Cart (, a mobile food preparation station complete with “kid safe” kitchen supplies and a curriculum guide with recipes and tasks to engage young minds and hands in cooking and eating healthier.
Gail Thompson-Allen, recently retired from the Russell Library, first saw the Charlie Cart at the PLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The kitchen on wheels sparked a programming idea and Gail applied and received $7500 in LSTA funds, which the library matched to complete the purchase of a Charlie Cart, to hire nutritionists and other food educators to lead programs, and to purchase books on healthy cooking for children and adults.  
Beginning in fall 2019, programs included “Meet the Charlie Cart,” first for library staff members and then for potential outside presenters, cooks, and educators. We found that 6-8 participants at a time worked best for in-house programs. Everyone could participate and not crowd too closely around the cart as cooking was taking place. Topics for these early sessions included healthy holiday treats, silly sandwiches, and tasty desserts. Survey results were very positive!

Fast forward to late winter: COVID.  We could no longer offer in-person cooking sessions; social distancing is not a part of the Charlie Cart. Instead, Gail located two wonderful presenters, both involved with nutrition education for youngsters, to create video demonstrations of their cooking (example:  
Completing this grant during an historic pandemic was certainly a challenge, but even in these conditions, the Charlie Cart provides a fun way for young folks to become engaged in and learn about healthy eating.

Hurricane Preparedness and Your Patrons

by Raven Frost Creech, Inclusion and Diversity Committee

Your library probably has a set of procedures in place for a hurricane. These procedures might include locking the book drops, taking signage indoors, and taking home the emergency contact lists. If you live on any of the coasts, hurricane preparedness may seem like second nature, but some of your patrons may not be as prepared as you or your library system.

Your library might be in the position of helping people prepare to evacuate, or your library might be in the position to help evacuees when they get to their destination. If you ever get to know me, you’ll eventually hear about how at eight years old I packed my suitcase full of snow globes to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina. Luckily, when we got to Texas a local library was ready with clean toiletries, gently used clothing, and a few books for me to take back to the hotel.

If you work for a large system with many resources, your library could be a donation distribution center. However, if you have a smaller system there are still things you can do to service your patrons that may be in need. Listed below are some suggestions:
  • Providing laminated and barcoded maps available for checkout with reasonable loan periods
  • Establishing forgiveness programs for library materials on patron accounts damaged by natural disasters
  • Hosting preparedness classes with focuses on financially planning an evacuation and packing go bags
  • Offering multi-language evacuation programming and fliers
  • Preparing bookmarks or fliers with internet resources and relevant hotline numbers
  • Teaming up with your local weather station! They might be excited to participate in some programming
Some patrons may not have had someone in their life to explain hurricane preparedness. They may not have access to smartphones or GPS. They may have the mindset that they cannot afford to evacuate. They could be too young to have experienced a hurricane that warranted evacuation. They could have recently moved in from out of state. Whatever their situation, we don’t want to leave these patrons behind.

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

2021: Theme/Animals; Slogan/”Tails and Tales” Artist/Salina Yoon

2022: Theme/Oceanography; Slogan/"Oceans of Possibility" Artist/Sophie Blackall

2023: Theme/Kindness and Friendship; Slogan/"All Together Now"; Artist/Frank Morrison

2024: Theme/Adventure; Slogan/TBD; Artist/Juana Martinez-Neal
Was this forwarded to you? Click here to sign up for your own copy of the newsletter!
Copyright © 2021 Collaborative Summer Library Program, All rights reserved.