CSL News Lifelong Literacy

2018 Colorado Teen Video Challenge Winners

This post was written by Beth Crist, Youth & Family Services Consultant.

The 2018 Colorado Teen Video Challenge has been exciting! The Teen Video Challenge, a national competition sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), encourages teens to create short public service announcements that promote reading and library use over the summer to other teens.

In Colorado, there were excellent submissions this year as always, and we’re pleased to announce the winner and runner-up:

  • Winner: Song Book by Alex Downing of the James LaRue Branch, Douglas County Libraries
  • 2nd place: Become a Rock Star by the Teen Advisory Group of the Sam Gary Branch, Denver Public Library

You can view the videos below or on the Colorado State Library YouTube channel.

Seventeen states participated in the contest this year. To view this year’s winning video from each state, please visit CSLP’s website. All public libraries across the country can use any of these videos to promote summer programs, reading, and library use.

The winning videos illustrate the diversity of our nation and of the teens that create them. Whether produced by an individual teen, groups of teens, a teen library club or a teen school group, all exhibit creativity and illustrate quality work on the part of the industrious teen filmmakers. The videos communicate the 2018 CSLP summer program theme of music, with the slogan “Libraries Rock!”, in a variety of creative ways. In addition to promoting reading and summer programs, it is clear from all these videos that teens strongly value their public libraries.

Congratulations to the teens that produced the winning and 2nd place videos for Colorado! We also want to thank all of the teens that shared their talents and creativity to create videos for the program this year, and to the many of you that promoted the contest in your communities.

Beth Crist
Youth & Family Services Consultant

CSL News Lifelong Literacy

2018 Colorado Teen Video Challenge

The 2018 Colorado Teen Video Challenge has launched! Sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), this contest invites teens, 13-18, to create short videos (30-90 seconds long) that promote reading and libraries to other teens and interpret the 2018 CSLP theme of music.

This is a great project for a library’s Teen Advisory Board; teen volunteers; a high school video production class or club; teens interested in acting, filming, creative writing, and video editing; and all creative teens in your community! The idea is to involve teens in summer learning, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process. This is a great opportunity for teens to display their creativity and have their ideas heard before a state and national audience.

The videos may be filmed anywhere, using any equipment. Videos will be judged on creativity, message clarity and relevance, motivation and inspiration, and overall impact.

The winning teen/teen team will receive a cash prize of $100, and the winner’s public library will receive a gift certificate from Upstart/DEMCO. The winners will be announced by CSLP in April 2018.

The contest deadline is February 26, 2018. Learn more and watch videos from the 2017 Colorado winner and finalists.

Questions? Please contact Beth Crist, We look forward to seeing videos from your teens this winter!

CSL News Resource Sharing

Friday Grab Bag, June 30, 2017

Friday Grab Bag June 30, 2017Friday Grab Bag is a weekly Spotlight on Sharing series that highlights fun, unique, and interesting happenings in Colorado libraries. News from the Colorado State Library is at the bottom. Let’s open the Grab Bag!

Creative Teens

The Fanfiction Workshop at the Carbon Valley Regional Library in High Plains Library District is a place where teen authors in grades 9-12 can share their work, develop their writing skills, and meet other fans of the genre. The workshop is on Saturday, July 1 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Teens can personalize their school locker with DIY Locker Bling at the Lafayette Public Library, July 6 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

Summer Learning for Kids

Longmont Public Library is hosting a STEM workshop for student designers on Saturday, July 22 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Students entering grades 3-5 are encouraged to stop by and build their own light saber. Register online for this event.

Kids entering grades 1-3 can build a WOW! Robot at Broomfield Library on Thursday, July 13. This popular program has two afternoon sessions, 2:00 to 3:00 and 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Kids will  work in teams to use plastic building bricks and robot toys to create a robotic structure that moves. Register online.

At Poudre River Public Library District, kids ages 10-13 can Construct Bug Gardens using dirt, plants, rocks, and tiny furniture. Join the fun on Wednesday, July 5 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. Registration is required.

As part of their summer learning series, the South Branch of Summit County Libraries invites kids in preschool through 5th grade to Build an Outdoor Maze, July 5 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Library Fun for Everyone

Broomfield Library wants to help you improve your grilling game. Make It Mondays: Dry Rubs will teach participants about seasoning blends for meats, veggies, and fruits. The class is on Monday, July 3 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Register online.

Join Clearview Library District Director Ann Kling for some coffee talk on Wednesday, July 12 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. This is a chance to chat about the new library or the library district in general.

John C. Fremont Library District is starting ‘Storytime at Florence Farmer’s Market’ every Thursday at 10:30 am. Join Ms. Deborah for stories and songs beginning this Thursday, July 8.

Poudre River Public Library District is crowdsourcing a directory of free book exchange locations in the Fort Collins area. If you come across a Little Free Library or other free book exchange kiosk, submit the location via this online form.

Stop by the Anythink York Street Library’s Drop-in Car Check Engine Diagnostics on July 15 from 9:30 to 11:30 am for a free diagnostic test. While you’re there, learn about library resources you can use for DIY repairs.

Mesa County residents: look for the pop-up library in Gazebo Park every Friday during the summer from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Check out books, sign up for summer reading, and use the library’s WiFi and mobile technology, all from the mobile library.

Libraries in the News

Merinda McClure, associate professor and health and human services librarian at University of Colorado Boulder, was part of a panel discussion hosted by the Science and Technology Section (STS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), titled “OER: Science Liaisons Strengthening the Academy with Open Resources.”

The Columbine Courier reports that Jeffco Libraries are improving services, infrastructure, and technology, as well as extending hours, after a recent mill-levy increase.

The Lakewood Sentinel featured a profile of Kira Kloser, library coordinator for the Irving Street Library in Westminster.

What’s New at the Colorado State Library

#LoveMyCOLibrary Photo CampaignThe CSL social media team is launching #LoveMyCOLibrary, a photo campaign to encourage Coloradans to share how they love their Colorado libraries. Participation is easy: tag photos of library awesomeness with #LoveMyCOLibrary, then share them with the Colorado State Library on Facebook or Twitter. Participation is open to patrons and library staff alike. The campaign will run from July 1 through August 31, 2017.

Are you interested in library data and evaluation? Join the free Online Community of Practice from RIPL (Research Institute for Public Libraries). The Community of Practice includes discussion forums, opportunities for file-sharing (such as infographics, surveys, etc.), and a quarterly webinar series.

Explore historical fiction titles available through the CSL Book Club Resource. In her latest post, Lovely, Lazy Reading Days, Arian lists the relevant titles by time period.

In the latest CHNC: Special Edition, read about Katherine McHale Slaughterback (“Rattlesnake Kate”), an enterprising Weld county resident who fended off a rattlesnake attack in 1925.

New this week on the Colorado State Publications Library Blog:

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. Do you have a story from your library to share? Email Amy Hitcher, Also, be sure to follow the Colorado State Library on Twitter and Facebook.

CSL News Resource Sharing

Spotlight on Sharing: Friday Grab Bag, February 17, 2017

Friday Grab Bag CVL February 17 2017Friday Grab Bag is a weekly Spotlight on Sharing series that highlights fun, unique, and interesting activities and news in Colorado libraries. Let’s open the Grab Bag!

Learn to Spot Fake News

Is it fake, true, or something in between? Libraries can help you with the skills needed to evaluate the news stories you come across every day. Librarians have been in the business of information literacy for a long time—let them share their tips with you! Here are just a few examples of classes being offered in Colorado. Check your local library for similar programs.

Avoiding Fake News: A Battle Plan for Accurate Online Information
Poudre River Public Library District
Monday, February 20, 7:00 pm

Fake News for Smart Students
Tomlinson Library at Colorado Mesa University
Tuesday, February 21, 3:00 pm

Fun and Learning for Teens

Mardis Gras in The Big Easy might be best for adults, but Mardi-GLOW at Rampart Library District is an after-hours evening of games, crafts, and snacks just for teens. Friday, February 24 at 6:30 pm. Parental consent form required.

Boulder Public Library wants to help tweens annd teens Build a Better Book through digital storytelling on Sunday, February 19 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. This makerspace class provides the design and printing tools teens can use to create a story using no written words.

Louisville Public Library is hosting an exhibit throughout March 2017 called The Darwin Synthetic Interview, which uses patented technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University to allow visitors to have a conversation with a live-action portrayal of Charles Darwin. This experience would be perfect for students, history buffs, scientists, and technologists of all ages.

February 22, 2017 is the final day to submit entries for Poudre River Public Library District’s 5th Annual Battle of the Bards Poetry Contest. During the battle of words in April, teens and adults will vie for the “Top Bard” award, as well as prizes and a chance to be published in the Fort Collins Courier. Learn more at

Libraries in the News

The Berthoud Surveyor recently published an article about Berthoud Community Library District CEO Amy Pilla. Read the article.

The Mountain-Ear featured an article about Common Cents for Colorado, a financial literacy program being offered at Gilpin County Public Library and several libraries across Colorado.

The Pagosa Daily Post published a summary of Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library’s annual report, prepared for library trustees, which includes the library’s key achievements, statistics, and programs from 2016. Read the article.

What’s New at the Colorado State Library

CSL launched a new pilot project for early literacy: Growing Readers Together is designed to support Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) childcare providers in SE Colorado.

As part of her Topics in History series, Leigh explored the history of Valentine’s Day and included links to relevant articles from the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

CSL in Session on February 15 featured guest speaker Jane Martel from Arapahoe Libraries, who discussed workplace communication. Watch a recording of the webinar. Also, mark your calendars for the next CSL in Session, March 23 at 12pm MST, when Elektra Greer will discuss typical and atypical library services.

LRS released Fast Facts from the 2015-16 School Library Report.

Finally, the Colorado State Publications Library Blog had 3 new posts this week:

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. How is your library sharing? We’d love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, On Twitter follow @hitchlib and use the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.

Resource Sharing

Spotlight on Sharing: Friday Grab Bag, January 13, 2017

Friday Grab Bag January 13 2017Friday Grab Bag is a weekly Spotlight on Sharing series that highlights fun, unique, and interesting activities and news in Colorado libraries. Let’s open the Grab Bag!

Just for Tweens and Teens

JCPL’s Golden Library, in collaboration with Colorado School of Mines, is holding a Girls in STEM competition from January 5 through February 22. “Creations should be an original design and related to energy and environment, health and nutrition, or biomedical.” Girls in grades 5-8 are encouraged to enter. Read the all the requirements and learn how to enter on JCPL’s website.

Break out your horned helmets for the Teen Ullr Fest at the Summit County South Branch Library from January 10 through 14. Stop by the Teen Room and celebrate Ullr Fest by making your Ullr helmet, giant snowflake and/or reusable handwarmers.

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library is making its Discovery Lab available on Jan 17 & 19 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm for teens working on National History Day projects. Teens can use the green screen, iPads, and more to work on their projects. Contact the library to register.

Readin’ and Writin’

Bud Werner Memorial Library’s Shakespeare Reading Group is starting a six-week reading and discussion series on Antony and Cleopatra, led by veteran English teacher Sally Frostic. The first meeting is on Wednesday, January 19 from 6:00 to 7:15 pm. Space is limited and participants must register ahead of time. Contact the library for more information.

High Plains Library District is looking for a Writer in Residence. From their website: “The Goal of the High Plains Library District Foundation’s Writer in Residence program is to support the creative process of one Weld County writer during a 6-month time period so they may complete a manuscript with the intent to publish.” For a full list of requirements and the application, head over to the Writer In Residence page.

Brewing and Cooking

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of home-craft brewing? Arapahoe Libraries has partnered with Halfpenny Brewing Company to offer several beer-related events, including a home brewing how-to on January 24 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Southglenn Branch Library. If brewing isn’t your cup of ale, then the Books on Tap book club hosted at Halfpenny Brewing Company might be a better fit. The book club meets January 25 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. See all the events that are part of this collaboration.

Pine River Library wants to help you make your Valentine’s Day extra special this year. Learn to cook a romantic meal infused with lavender from local chef Tish Nelson on Tuesday, February 7 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The class is free but registration is required. Contact the library at (970) 884-2222 ext. 510.

Libraries in the News

Play with new technology, see tech demonstrations, and learn about e-Resources at the Mesa County Libraries Tech Expo, which takes place Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Central Library. This all-ages event is open to the public at no charge. The Tech Expo was recently featured in the Business Times.

The Lone Cone Library was recently awarded a $100,000 capital grant from the Telluride Foundation to help construct the new Norwood Library. These funds are in addition to the 1.5 million in grant money the library has already raised plus the mill levy increase that voters approved. Read the announcement in the Telluride Daily Planet.

What’s New at the Colorado State Library (hint: lots!)

CSL has just launched new Public Library Standardsand now they’re online! Whether you’re new to Colorado or a veteran librarian, we hope you will use the standards as benchmarks during planning and budgeting. For questions about how to use the standards at your library, please contact Jacqueline Murphy, Senior Consultant for Public Libraries and Community Relations, at or 303-866-6891

The next Spotlight on Sharing Webcast is on the topic of Memory Care at the Library. Panelists Deborah Gonzales from Arapahoe Libraries and Amy DelPo from Denver Public Library will discuss how their libraries support patrons with dementia through specialized programming and services. You can watch the webcast live on January 25 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm MST. A recording will be available after the live broadcast. Submit questions via Twitter using the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.

Voting is open until January 27 for One Book 4 Colorado. OB4CO is an annual event that distributes 75,000 free books—one for every 4-year-old in Colorado—and everyone can help pick the book! Head over the OB4CO site to watch videos of Colorado community leaders reading the top 3 titles, then vote online for your favorite. The winner will be announced April 17 and books will be distributed from April 17 through May 1.

In the Touring Colorado’s Collections series, Leigh discusses the partnership between Eagle Valley Library District and the Eagle County Historical Society that has led to the preservation of artifacts from that community’s history. Read more about the partnership and the collection.

The National Western Stock Show has long been a part of Colorado’s history. Leigh has collected dozens of historical articles about the National Western Stock Show that are archived in the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Read the article or explore the CHNC site.

The 71st Colorado Legislative session began on January 11, 2017. Amy Zimmer from the State Publications Library published a handy reference guide with information every Coloradan should be aware of, including how to find your Senator or Representative, how to search for a bill, and how to participate in the legislative process.

In this month’s Book Club craft blog, Arian shows how you can make paper leaves and dress up a simple jar to use as a candle holder.

Encourage a teen you know to enter the 2017 Teen Video Challenge. Sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), this contest invites teens, 13-18, to create short videos (30-90 seconds long) that promote reading all summer long and using the library to other teens. The deadline for submissions is February 10.

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. How is your library sharing? We’d love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, On Twitter follow @hitchlib and use the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.

Resource Sharing

Spotlight on Sharing: Friday Grab Bag, December 23, 2016

Friday Grab Bag 12.23.16Friday Grab Bag is a weekly Spotlight on Sharing series that highlights fun, unique, and interesting activities and news in Colorado libraries. This week’s Grab Bag is a little lighter than usual due to the holidays; nevertheless, there are still plenty of things to inspire and delight at Colorado’s libraries.

Last Call for Holiday Crafts

There’s still time to make a custom cookie cutter at the Castlewood Library Makerspace. Create your design on, then 3D print it at the library.  Make one for yourself or give someone a personalized gift.

Make your own mini snow globe at Louisville Public Library on Thursday, January 5 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. The program is for adults, teens, and tweens age 11 and up. No registration is required.

Community-Building Events

Bud Werner Memorial Library invites community members to participate in a 3-day sand painting event on January 3, 4, and 5 from 12:00 – 7:00 pm daily. Sand painting is a Tibetan Buddhist art form that uses metal funnels to direct colored sand onto a design. Once the painting is complete, it is wiped away as a symbol of impermanence. This free library event is open to everyone, though children must be accompanied by an adult. The library is also looking for artists willing to be sand painting assistants. Contact the library to volunteer.

Pine River Library is hosting a four-part reading, viewing, and discussions series for adults called Pushing the Limits. The first discussion will take place on Wednesday, January 11 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm on the book Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Future of the Earth, by Craig Childs. For more information on the Pushing the Limits discussion series contact the library at (970) 884-2222 ext. 510

Technology for the People

Whether you have a special event coming up or just want to try out some new technology, Mesa County Libraries has some pretty amazing equipment that their patrons can check out, including:

  • Canon T5i Digital Camera Kits
  • GoPro Action Camera Kit
  • Nikon Coolpix Point-and-Shoot Kit
  • Power Check Meters (in collaboration with Xcel energy)

Check the availability and lending policies for these kits on the Mesa County Libraries website.

For Teens

Attention aspiring babysitters: Poudre River Public Library District is offering Babysitting 101 on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm. The course covers a variety of topics, including activities to do with children, promoting your babysitting business, and first aid basics. Upon completion, teens will receive certification that they have completed Babysitting 101. Parents must fill out a permission slip for their teen prior to the course.

At Mesa County Libraries, teens interested in music and the recording industry can learn the essentials of audio production on Wednesday, December 28 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Space is limited and registration is required.

What’s New at the Colorado State Library

Babi added an interactive map to the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) site that lets you browse for titles by location. Check it out!

Arian posted a new historical biography of Silas Soule, a 19th century abolitionist and soldier who refused to allow the Company he commanded to participate in the Sand Creek Massacre.

Arian also added 3 new YA titles to the Book Club Resource collection.

Winter break is the perfect time for teens to work on their entries for the 2017 Colorado Teen Video Challenge. This year’s theme is summer reading. Entries are due by February 10, 2017. Additional information is available online.

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. How is your library sharing? We’d love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, On Twitter follow @hitchlib and use the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.

Resource Sharing

Spotlight on Sharing: Computer Science Education Week 2016

Computer Science Education Week 2016Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code are global initiatives from to raise awareness about the importance of computer science education at all levels. This year, over 100 million students in 180 countries will participate in Hour of Code events and other Computer Science Education Week activities from December 5-11, 2016.

The Hour of Code website offers high-quality, free tutorials for anyone interested in learning the basics of coding. Many schools and libraries also support computer science education with special Hour of Code events and ongoing programs. See a list of Colorado organizations that have registered for Hour of Code.

Below are some of the activities happening at libraries around our state. Don’t see your library’s event? Email Amy Hitchner, to add it.

Anythink Libraries is partnering with Exploration Universe to provide a week of coding activities for all ages. Whether you want to learn basics, game design, HTML, apps, or Minecraft, there is a class for you. Check the Anythink website for a full list of events.

On Saturday, December 10 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, Louisville Public Library invites children ages 4-6 with their caregiver to learn the basics of simple computer coding without using computers. Children will play Simon Says, teach a robot to brush its teeth, and guide their “Robot” caregivers through a life-size coding maze. Be sure to contact the library to register, as space is limited.

Poudre River Public Library District wants kids to become creators by learning drag-and-drop programming. They are offering a Coding for Kids class on Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Kids and teens age 8-16 are invited to register. Adults can also learn drag-and-drop programming during a special coding class on December 13, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Boulder Public Library has a full docket of Computer Science Education Week events for all ages starting December 3, 2016. They have partnered with educators from the CU Science Discovery Center, SparkFun Electronics, Twitter Boulder, Google, and many other area organizations to offer classes in robotics, programming, web design, game design, and 3D printing. Check the BPL website for all the details.

Garfield County Libraries will be hosting Hour of Code activities during Computer Science Education Week.

  • Monday, December 5 at 12:00 pm at the Parachute Branch Library
  • Thursday, December 8 at 4:00 pm at the Carbondale and Glenwood Springs Branch Libraries
  • Friday, December 9 at 1:00 pm at the New Castle, Silt, and Rifle Branch Libraries

Pikes Peak Library District is hosting an Hour of Code for their Tween Tech Club on December 9, 2016 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the Old Colorado City Library.

Basalt Regional Library has an ongoing Girls Who Code Club, which meets on Tuesdays from 3:45 to 5:15. The club was recently featured in a news story by Aspen Public Radio.

Durango Public Library is offering Minecraft for Tweens and Teens December 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm.  Students can stop in and participate in special building challenges.

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. Is your library hosting an Hour of Code or Computer Science Education Week event? The Colorado library community would love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, On Twitter follow @hitchlib and use the hashtag #spotlightonsharing.

Resource Sharing

Spotlight on Sharing: Celebrating Teens Reading

Teen Read Week™ is an annual event started in 1998 and sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) that encourages teens to read and use the library. This year’s event, October 9-15, has a multi-lingual “Read for the fun of it!” theme, meant to highlight the resources and services available to teens who speak a language other than English at home.

Several Colorado libraries are participating in Teen Read Week™ with special events and incentives. Add your library’s activities to this post by emailing Amy Hitchner, You can also join the conversation on Twitter with #TRW16.

Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library is celebrating Teen Read Week™ all month long. Teens in grades 6-12 who read 3 books during the month of October get to choose between a free book or up to $5 off their overdue fines. They will also get a Benihana Restaurant coupon and a small prize for registering. After turning in their reading log card, they will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

Teens can celebrate Teen Read Week™ at Bud Werner Memorial Library in two ways:

  1. From October 9-15, teens between the ages of 13 and 18 may have their overdue fines waived.
  2. Teens can vote for the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten now through October 15.  The winners will be announced the week of October 24.

Summit County Library is also encouraging teens to help select the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten award. From October 9 through 15, Summit County teens can vote on the library’s website for up to three of their favorite titles. The North Branch Library in Silverthorne will also display all of the nominated teen books for the Teens’ Top Ten award. The winning titles will be announced the week after Teen Read Week™.

On Tuesday, October 11 the Dolores Public Library hosted a Teen Read Week™ Lunch. The teens who came ate pizza and talked about the books that they are enjoying reading. Photos from the event are posted on the library’s FaceBook page. Thank you to Shaine Gans for sharing this event!

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. How is your library celebrating Teen Read Week™? We’d love to hear about it! Email Amy Hitcher, On Twitter follow @hitchlib or use #spotlightonsharing.

CSL News

Summer Learning Programs 2016

A young patron enjoys two of her favorite summertime activities.

Ah, summer: a time for kids and teens to relax, get outside, spend time with friends, and enjoy a break from school. It’s also a great opportunity for them (and adults, too!) to take advantage of fun learning activities offered by informal education programs at public libraries, museums, and nonprofits.

Public library staff are in full swing across the state gearing up for their summer programs, and it’s going to be a great summer! Colorado is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a comprehensive program that selects a theme each year that participating public libraries can feature. The theme for 2016 is Health, Fitness and Wellness, a natural fit for Colorado’s active lifestyle (and of course the Broncos’ Super Bowl victory!). It also highlights the need for kids to eat healthily and get plenty of exercise, so it’s a great theme for libraries to incorporate into their programming and collections not only for this summer, but year-round. Library staff seeking resources on the theme can go to the Colorado State Library’s Summer Reading Materials page.

Many of Colorado’s libraries offer a traditional summer program in which patrons receive incentives after reading an amount set by the library. Some libraries are creating other models for their summer programs that are project-based, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) oriented, open-ended, or broader summer learning focused; many focus on reading and learning as intrinsic motivations rather than giving prizes for reading a certain amount.

Parents recognize a difference in their children’s enjoyment, reading skills, and amount of reading for pleasure when their kids participate in summer library programs. As shown in a 2014 survey in Colorado, parents whose children participated in their local library program recognized measurable increases in these areas.

LRS summer reading infographic
Click the image to see the full report.

Learning activities, paired with choice reading, go a long way toward preventing summer slide—the tendency of students to lose the gains they made during the school year over the long summer break. Research shows that summer slide is much more pronounced in children from low-income families that have fewer resources for enrichment activities such as travel; it also shows that summer slide is cumulative, causing kids in poverty to fall significantly behind over time simply due to summer slide.

Since 2004, the Pueblo City-County Library has offered Books in the Park, a program that brings books and fun programming to parks that serve free lunches to kids through the Summer Food Service Program.
Since 2004, the Pueblo City-County Library has offered Books in the Park, a program that brings books and fun programming to parks that serve free lunches to kids through the Summer Food Service Program.

While reading for fun over the summer is a very effective way to help prevent summer slide, the very children it benefits the most often can’t come to the library. Through partnering and outreach programs, libraries can provide reading materials and programs to children experiencing poverty.

Summer is almost here, and while you have some busy months ahead, know that you are making a significant difference to the kids and families in your communities. Have a great summer!

Cover image: Longmont Public Library encourages kids to create projects of any type and on any subject they like, such as this engineering creation, during the summer; the library then displays each project at the end of the summer.
CSL News

Colorado Teen Lit Conference 2016

CO Teen Lit Conf LogoThe Colorado Teen Literature (“Teen Lit”) Conference is a popular annual event where authors and young people gather to discuss their passion for books and reading.

This year’s conference is April 2, 2016 in the Tivoli Student Union Building on the Auraria Campus in Denver. Keynote speakers include Eliot Schrefer, National Book Award Finalist for his novel Threatened, and Kekla Magoon, recipient of the Coretta Scott King New Talent Award and nominee for the NAACP Image Award. The conference will also feature a panel of local authors as well as sessions geared towards teen readers and writers, educators, and librarians.

The Teen Lit Conference is unique because it brings together young people and professionals to celebrate literature. It is also an extremely popular event that fills up quickly, so mark your calendars for February 1, when registration opens.

Visit the Colorado Teen Literature Conference website for all the details including registration, sponsors, and information on grants.