Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's Summer Library Program Time!

Every Hero Has A Story
CSLP 2015 children's theme and logo
The majority of Wisconsin public libraries will be hosting a summer library program over the next few months, and most likely using the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme of "Heroes."

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Public Library Development Team supports public library literacy offerings. Literacy offerings are umbrella events that include programs and/or drop-in activities that encourage individuals to read or build literacy skills in a focused way. Literacy offerings can be organized for any age group or for all ages, and can take place anytime during the year.

Library reading programs are a common component of literacy offerings. Library reading programs generally encourage readers of all ages to sign up and keep track of their reading habits for a certain length of time. The video below outlines the top ten tips for librarians and parents and caregivers concerning library reading programs. You might consider sharing the Top Ten Tips for Caregivers document as part of your registration materials, or perhaps review the Top Ten Tips for Librarians as a pre-SLP refresher. 

Will your library be hosting a summer library program this year?  Chances are that it fits the bill of a “summer literacy offering” as recorded on the public library annual report, since it is likely an umbrella event of limited duration.
Before you get started, think about how you will record this important programming information.
  • Does your library’s SLP encourage individuals involved to read or build literacy skills?
  • Does your library’s SLP have a target audience such as children, young adults, or all ages?
  • What does it mean to be involved in your library’s SLP?
    • Registration
    • Registration combined with program attendance
    • Completion of task list
    • Goal attainment
    • Other (remember, your library determines what it means to be “involved”)
  • How will you keep track of the individuals involved?
Don’t forget that programs offered during the summer get counted just like programs any other time of the year.  Program and program attendance gets counted under “Program and Program Attendance” even if it is part of your SLP.  The same goes for drop-in activities and participation.

The video below, featuring DPI resources, speaks to the role that public libraries play in summer learning.  It also services as a reminder to make what you do count, and to count what you do. 

Lastly, contrary to popular belief, don’t guess the age of your patrons!  For example, if you offer a program (or drop-in activity or literacy offering) for whom the target audience is children (ages 0-11), include EVERYONE who comes to that program in the total children’s attendance count. 

Remember, exclude library activities delivered on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group, such as one-to-one literacy tutoring, services to homebound, resume writing assistance, homework assistance, and mentoring activities.

For additional information, visit:

Wisconsin Public Library Annual Report: Youth Services online training module

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team