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We Have Tails and Tales to Share with You on Instagram!

By Danielle Duran, Coolidge Public Library, Coolidge, Arizona
CSLP Social Media Committee Member
The Collaborative Summer Library Program Social Media Committee is excited to announce we are now on Instagram! CSLP is ecstatic to share with you a place where you can find ideas, images, suggestions, and more. We encourage you to reshare content on your library’s Instagram accounts and build on any ideas or materials shared to support your programming.
This year we will showcase the #TailsandTales slogan with artist Salina Yoon, and will provide support for your library’s own social media and programming needs! Be sure to watch for our Insta-stories, which include quizzes and wallpapers and more. Look to our “highlights” which provide the perfect spot to organize and archive our stories. The CSLP Social Media Team will provide you with posts to help your library build excitement for this year's summer programming theme.  We want to hear from you this summer, share your ideas with using the hashtag #TailsandTales  for a chance to be reposted on our Instagram account.
Follow us on Instagram at @CSLPreads to find your inspiration to help empower libraries to foster community.

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.

Little Boxes of Hope

By Sarah Fisher, Youth Services Librarian, Glouster Public Library, and Tessa Evanosky, Youth Services Librarian, Chauncey Public Library, Ohio
In mid-January 2020, Glouster Library had a small but mighty addition constructed out front at the end of the sidewalk, where the cement meets the grass. This addition is a 2’x3’ box, about a foot deep with a plexiglass framed door. As small as the box may appear, the kindness and care that went into its procurement could fill a million boxes just like it. Our blessing box, or little food pantry, was built by Bryce Lemaster and her grandmother. Bryce now works for the Athens County Health Department, where she was serving as an AmeriCorps member at the time. After connecting with community members about where the little pantries might be best utilized, Bryce set to work building and seeking out local artists to give the boxes some pizazz. The pantry here at the Glouster Public Library is painted a mellow yellow, with unique characters advertising the box's intent “Take what you need, leave what you can.”

In its first year with us, the pantry has held dry goods donated by passers by, community members, and the local food bank. I have seen it overflowing, with items stacked beneath, but never empty. Our pantry and others like it create the opportunity for people to access free food or toiletries and to share what they have, no questions asked. There are now two more little pantries within a couple of miles, and more popping up in nearby neighborhoods. These three sparks of generosity and creativity are important stepping-stones on the path to understanding and solving problems related to hunger and food access. 

The Chauncey Library, about 10 miles south, has since expanded their pantry based on demand to offer winter clothes.  “While libraries are information hubs for adults and teens, they are also afterschool snack hubs for kids. They know we will always be there with a cheese stick for them unless we are closed. Now they know to go to the blessing box,” says Youth Services Librarian Tessa Evanosky.  
“We recently expanded our box to include a clothes rack for jackets, scarves, and blankets, as well as hats, gloves and personal hygiene supplies. We get between 15 and 30 people visiting per day that we know of, and the donations all come from community members with some monthly help from the food bank in Logan.  I think the box has also created a sense of pride in our little community. It’s a symbol that people care about one another regardless of politics, or any other divide. These little boxes are a small sign we are getting one another through what promises to be a very long winter.”

(Glouster and Chauncey are branches of Athens County Public Libraries in Ohio, which has been a leader in providing food to communities for many years, including being an early adopter – over 22 years! – of having library branches serve as Summer Food Service Program sites – ed.)

COVID and CSLP 2021

By: Elizabeth Boggs, Assistant Branch Manager, Katherine Tyra Branch Library, Houston, TX
Yes, I know we may seem crazy thinking about COVID’s impact on summer 2021. Because of COVID, most of us can’t tell you what we’re doing next month in our libraries, much less next summer! But for some of us, it’s time to submit our orders for 2021 CSLP incentives. These incentives are items, such as toys, that libraries give out to encourage registration, participation, and completion for the summer reading program.
The CSLP Statistics Committee was naturally curious to see if libraries’ orders were changing based on COVID. We sent out a survey, and we were surprised at the results from the 40 respondents.
The biggest takeaway is that, for these libraries, CSLP orders haven’t changed due to COVID. 24 of our respondents (60%) ordered CSLP incentives in 2020, while 16 (40%) did not. (See chart below.)

For 2021, 19 libraries (47.5%) plan to order CLSP incentives. 18 (45%) are unsure, while 3 (7.5%) will not order CSLP incentives. When you take into account that some of the “maybes” will order from CSLP, it appears a majority of libraries will once again order CSLP incentives. (See chart below.)

Since there is some difference in the number of libraries ordering CSLP incentives for summer 2020 and 2021, we wanted to know - did COVID cause this shift? The answer to that question is primarily no. Only 15 (37.5%) of respondents said their future use of CSLP incentives is a reaction to COVID. 25 people (62.5%) said COVID was not a factor. (See chart below.)

Based on the results of this one survey, it seems COVID isn’t having too much impact on our 2021 CSLP orders. Libraries who do purchase CSLP incentives will have good use for them. For ideas on how to use CSLP items in a curbside world, keep an eye out for our next article. We will explore our survey’s responses on which incentives are typically used, as well as how libraries have handed them out in a COVID world.

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
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