Although the recurring spates of cold weather make it difficult to remember, this year’s Summer Library Program is swiftly approaching, and now is the time to reflect upon the successes and opportunities for change brought by the previous season. Bearing that in mind, I am extremely grateful for the insights libraries provided me via the 2021 feedback survey and wanted to share some of this information to help inform your approach to this coming year.
Overall, 76.1% reported an increase in program attendance compared to the previous year. And, in terms of the provided resources, 78.7% reported having been satisfied with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) materials, with 74.7% agreeing that applying the resources in the manual helped improve their library’s services to the community. In light of your satisfaction with these materials, consider joining the 2022 CSLP Theme and Slogans Committee to help craft future iterations. For more information, consult the January 2022 CSLP newsletter.
Furthermore, during this second summer of the pandemic, libraries continued to be flexible as they responded to the shifting needs in their communities: 46.5% used online tools to help administer programming, 76.2% hosted indoor, in-person events, 26.5% offered recorded or on-demand events, 31% hosted live virtual events, 65.5% disseminated take-home activities and kits to local families, and 11.5% offered special programming or services related to COVID-19 closures. In its 2021 State of American Libraries Special Report on COVID-19, the American Library Association emphasized that libraries “extended necessary lifelines to community members,” “answered the call to serve amid multiple emergencies,” and yet again “proved to be essential ‘first restorers’.” I am truly honored to support you in this work and serve as your Youth Services Consultant.
In preparation for this summer’s program, I want to remind you of existing resources and highlight some on the horizon:
Build a solid foundation with our staff via this series of webinars whose evergreen content is rooted in best practices for remote and hybrid programming.
Teen Mental Health
Prioritize social emotional learning with Patrick Lloyd, our Community Resilience Consultant, as he explores the intersection of teen mental health and programming practices.
Expand your support of underserved populations with Jaclyn Owusu, Public Awareness Coordinator for the Talking Book Program, as she discusses some strategies and resources for patrons with visual, physical, and reading disabilities.
Online Program Management Tools
Leverage online tools with fellow librarians as they discuss the reading trackers, integrated office suites, and social media they use to maximize their efforts.