By now, you may be aware that the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is an organization that works together to develop a theme, slogan, artwork, manual, program ideas and incentives for public libraries nationwide with the goal of making it easier for those libraries to execute a top notch summer reading program, thus combating “summer slide” and bringing communities together.
But who is making all of those decisions? Each year, a group of representatives from all 50 states, plus several U.S. territories, gathers to discuss and vote on themes, slogans and general initiatives for the future of CSLP. The representatives are volunteers – a mixture of public librarians and youth services consultants at state libraries, like me. In April, I had the privilege of representing Indiana at the CSLP annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.
The 2018 meeting was an exciting one. The CSLP board of directors rolled out their strategic plan, which includes taking more control of the program’s artwork, manual development and printing services, among other aspects. Ultimately, this will result in more flexibility in what the organization can offer to libraries, and should result in better quality products.This plan will take several years to roll out and may not be immediately evident, but by the program year 2020 we hope to have made significant improvements.
The meeting this year also saw the announcement of some excellent allies and resources for summer 2019. Most notable was Starnet, who shared information about their STEM Activity Clearinghouse. This database is full of STEM activities and resources for libraries, including full program activity descriptions. Though summer 2018 has barely begun, next year’s space theme, “A Universe of Stories,” looks to be bursting with promise!
Upcoming CSLP themes:
2019: A Universe of Stories; space
2020: Imagine Your Story; fairy tales, mythology and fantasty
2021: Tails and Tales; animals
2022: All Together Now; unifying communities
In personal news, I’m pleased to announce that I was elected to be a member of the Collaborative Summer Library board of directors as a member-at-large. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to bring the voice of Hoosiers to the CSLP membership as we tackle the changing landscape of summer reading. I welcome your constructive suggestions for the program, and hope to see many of you when I roll out my 2019 CSLP trainings around the state this winter!
This blog post was written by Beth Yates, children’s consultant for the Indiana State Library.