Virtual Storytime and Copyright: Resources

We have received many questions recently about virtual and online storytimes. As we cannot provide legal advice, we wanted to curate a few resources that may be helpful during this time. If you need legal advice, we would highly recommend that you reach out to your library, city or county’s legal counsel if available.

Virtual Storytime Information

Copyright and Creative Commons Information

  • U.S. Copyright Office The website of the U.S. Copyright Office provides a a plethora of resources on copyright law.
  • Creative Commons: Helping Patrons and Students Find and License Online Content In this archived webinar, the Texas State Library’s Kyla Hunt and Liz Philippi explore ways to locate Creative Commons licensed materials and to promote the usage of Creative Commons in your library.

We hope you find this information useful; for further reading, you may also want to view our previous blog post, Copyright and Fair Use Resources.   

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Share Summer Reading Challenges with your Library and Community

Summer challenge board

We know that with the current pandemic crisis, summer reading plans have been upended, altered, and in some cases canceled as a result of library closures. In response, we have created summer activity challenges that you can distribute to your communities and patrons. These challenges are meant to be completed by children and teens in their homes, with families and loved ones, to both combat summer slide and provide activity ideas for families.

The challenges are provided to you in both editable and PDF versions on a shared Google Drive. You can also access it on the Children and Youth Services page. We have assigned Creative Commons licenses to the challenges so that you can edit the resources to fit the needs of your library and community. To edit the editable version, open up the document you would like to edit, click on “File” and select “Make a Copy.” You can then edit your copy to better serve the needs of your community.

The activities included can be distributed digitally (on your website, via email or newsletters, or on social media). They can also be printed by your libraries and distributed in the mail, via community partners, or at your libraries (if you are physically open). If you do not have community partners with which you currently work, you may want to contact local grocery stores or even your local post office to see if they would be interested in assisting with distribution. Please note that these challenges were not designed to be used as Bingo games. Bingo is strictly regulated in Texas and requires obtaining a license from the Texas Lottery Commission. For information on the Bingo Enabling Act in Texas, please visit the Texas Lottery Commission‘s website at

To learn more about these resources, please join us on Wednesday, May 6 at 2 p.m. for our webinar Looking to Summer: Resources for K-12 and Public Libraries. Please direct any questions about the challenges to Kyla Hunt at or Laura Tadena at

Have a wonderful summer!

Upcoming Webinar – Looking to the Summer: Resources for K-12 and Public Libraries

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a multitude of challenges for libraries preparing for the summer. To address some of these challenges, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 6 at 2 p.m. titled “Looking to the Summer: Resources for K-12 and Public Libraries.”

You can register for this event here:

During this online event, we will be providing an overview of TSLAC created resources for providing analog programming ideas to families, an update on Summer Reading materials from the Collaborative Summer Reading Program (CSLP) and hearing from our School Program Coordinator Liz Philippi on e-resources that could be valuable no matter what your library type. We will conclude with time for questions and discussion.

Join us!

Summer Slide

Educational research tells us time and time again that the students experience a “summer slide” in learning during the summer school break. Our School Program Coordinator, Liz Philippi, shares some tips on how to address summer slide this summer!

What is “summer slide”?

It is the tendency for children to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. It is estimated that teachers spend between 4 to 6 weeks reteaching materials that students forget during the summer. While we constantly battle to make sure that all students can read on grade level this “reteaching” is a terrible waste!

What can we do to correct this?

Well, the first suggestion is that we should make sure that children are reading during the summer whether they are at their local library, in a school library that is open during school summer breakfast and lunch times, or even accessing books online they need to be exposed to books.

The other things we need to do is to keep those young brains engaged with a variety of activities that will challenge them and ignite their innate curiosity. There are many simple things you can do, like reading product ingredients and measuring produce with your child when grocery shopping. Use cooking with your child as an opportunity to teach them about measuring and math skills. Take a nature walk in your local park or your neighborhood to teach plant and fauna information. Sometimes just looking around your house will help you come up with ideas to get and keep your children engaged, and an engaged mind is growing mind!

Below are some tips to get you started and a bunch of links that you can share with your patrons.


6 Ways to Use Reading to Prevent Summer Slide

The Importance of Summer Reading

10 Critical Facts About Summer Reading

Summer Reading: English Language Learners at the Library

Camp Wonderoplis

Summer Reading with Book It!

Reading is Fundamental

Start with a Book

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Half Price Book Summer Reading Program

Summer Booklists from Reading Rockets

We Need Diverse Books

Summer Reading Booklists from ALSC

AASL Summer Reading Resources

YALSA Summer Reading and Learning

A Powerful Voice for Poetry: An Interview with National Student Poet Camila Sanmiguel

Each year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers collaborate to choose five students to serve for one year as National Student Poets through the National Student Poets Program. Charged with inspiring other young people to achieve excellence in their own creative endeavors, these literary ambassadors are linked with audiences and organizations in their assigned regions and provided opportunities to promote the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.

The Texas State Library & Archives Commission was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Camila Sanmiguel from Laredo, Texas. Camila is the 2017 National Student Poet for the Southwest U.S. and was eager to share her experience with us.

I: Tell us about your journey to poetry. How did you begin writing?

C: I found my way to poetry through a desire for change. Poetry is a form of literary activism that carries beauty and poignancy, building bridges and connecting those who read it, calling for empathy and unity and action and emotion. It gave me a platform to empower myself and those that are overlooked, to reach people and help close deep divides using advocacy and poetry, calling for action or even just thought – but I have learned that sparking thought is enough.

I: Can you tell us a little about the National Student Poet Program and how you got involved?

C: The National Student Poets Program is the highest honor in the country for youth poets, in which five nationally-recognized students are selected to serve a yearlong literary ambassadorship, each in one of five regions of the country. The program is made possible by the U.S. Library of Congress (where we were appointed last year by Dr. Carla Hayden), the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Academy of American Poets.

My peers and I were selected from a pool of National Medalists in poetry in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards through a multi-layered adjudication process with panels of judges including former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

I: Tell us about your experience as a National Student Poet and the kinds of outreach events, activities, and workshops you have had the opportunity to facilitate.

C: As the National Student Poet for the Southwest, I have strived to promote poetry as a form of healing and expression in multicultural groups of first- and second-generation immigrant youth, working with the Child Advocates at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights in San Antonio and with the Refugee Services of Texas in Dallas to reach groups of people that can benefit from poetry.

For National Poetry Month, I held readings and workshops around my region, the Southwest. I had the great honor of reading at the Phoenix Art Museum alongside the incredible poets Ada Limon and Eloisa Amezcua, reading and holding workshops for students at Albuquerque prep schools, and using poetry to work with middle-school students at a reservation for Pueblo Native American reservation, among other audiences I had the privilege to reach in these states.

I: Do you have any suggestions for how public and school librarians can help develop an appreciation for poetry in youth?

C: The way poetry is taught in most public schools is, in my opinion, not the best, and promotes the rigid idea of poetry as antiquated or esoteric. This creates the unfortunate problem in which many students go through school believing poetry can’t be for them to enjoy, write, connect with, or even understand.

An important step for me in my childhood was reading Latinx literature, moving from Sandra Cisneros’s vignettes – which delivered short, powerful messages about the tragedy of being a young Latina – to eventually finding gripping work from Francisco X. Alarcon and Juan Felipe Herrera, then finding a groove of poetry about heritage that I treasured. Even if students don’t identify with a certain culture, finding contemporary poets who write on subjects they can connect with and appreciate is critical to enabling their own voices.

Ada Limon, who I had the immense honor of reading with during National Poetry Month, wrote a book called Bright Dead Things, which is among my favorites and speaks on a spectrum of subjects from grief and sacrifice, to empowerment and love, using themes as varied as death, want, need, home, and racehorses. The great thing about this kind of poetry is that anyone can fall in love with it. Current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is another wonderful poet I feel should be shared with young people.

One good method for disseminating good poetry among young people is through methods like one used by the Poetry Coalition, circulating postcards with Smith’s poem “Flores Woman” in efforts to facilitate Americans interacting with poetry and potentially discovering something meaningful to them.

I: As your year as a National Student Poet comes to a close, what’s next for you?

C: I’ll end my year of service by reading at Carnegie Hall in New York for the National Ceremony of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – I’ll also be attending the Aspen Ideas Festival with my fellow poets, and this fall we’ll be at the appointment ceremony of the next Class of National Student Poets at the Library of Congress.

After that, I’ll be attending Harvard University in the fall, studying History and Literature. This summer I’ll be interning at federal court like I did last summer; I hope to attend law school after graduating from college.

To learn more about Camila’s experience and message, please join us for a Facebook Live interview with her on Thursday, May 24th @ 10:30am (Central Time). Camila will read some of her work and we will have the opportunity to take a deeper look at the experiences that have shaped her poetry and her journey.

Come with your questions and don’t miss this chance to hear a powerful youth voice!

Facebook Live Interview with Camila Sanmiguel

Summer Reading Program: Webinars and Supply Order Update

Summer Reading is just around the corner and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some resources with you to help you begin preparing your program. As you all know, that Summer Reading manual is a beast and can be a bit overwhelming! Where do you even begin? The following webinars were provided by Collaborative Summer Library Program and feature Amanda Struckmeyer, the Children’s and Early Literacy manual editor.

In the Children’s webinar (school age-12 years), Amanda breaks down the manual by explaining how to use the sections on planning, incentives, and promotion. She then goes through the chapters related to programming and explains a few of the programs in detail to include how they can be scaled up or down to serve different age groups.

The Early Literacy webinar (babies, toddlers, preschool) explains the importance of early literacy and the parent/caregiver as first teacher. Amanda provides information on how to structure your program, inclusion considerations and ideas for marketing. She explains that programming for early literacy is based on five components: read, talk, sing, play, and write. Amanda gives examples of programming based on these five components for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in the webinar.

Access the webinars here:

In addition to the Collaborative Summer Library Program resources provided above, Merri Monks, the Youth Service Consultant from the State Library of Iowa was kind enough to share additional resources with us here in Texas! Please follow the link below to find her webinars detailing the 2018 Early Literacy, Children’s, Adult, and Teen programs.

Summer Reading materials orders are on the move! If you ordered free materials through the form located on Texas State Library & Archives Commission website in November 2017, your materials are on the way. If you find errors with your order, please email me and let me know about it so I can begin working with DEMCO to correct the issue and get you the supplies you need.

If you missed the opportunity to order free materials through the Texas State Library & Archives Commission, you still have time to order and pay for materials through the CSLP website here:  Orders placed by March 1, 2018 should be delivered in early May 2018.



Summer Reading Program 2017 Survey Results

CSLP logo

The results of the 2017 Summer Reading Program are IN and it sounds like you all had a fantastic time with the program this year! I was extremely grateful for all the wonderful feedback everyone provided about the program and wanted to share some of it with you.

In terms of the program overall, it sounds like many libraries saw an increase in foot traffic this summer as 43% of you reported your participation numbers for the Summer Reading Program had increased! You’ve found innovative ways to track reading and encourage participation with all age groups. Here are a few things I noticed:

  • Several of you have shared that hosting programs outside the library appealed to your community members.
  • Many of you created new community partnerships for programming.
  • Teen participation was on the rise for several of you as you found out teen service projects were a hit as well as involving teens in the planning and execution of Summer Reading events for children.

Seeing phrases like, “overwhelming success”, “full to bursting”, and “community support” were encouraging and a tribute to the hard work you put in this year to make your programs a wild success!

There seemed to be a lot of love out there for the CSLP theme this year. I appreciated your comments about the CSLP materials and will definitely be taking this information to the CSLP meeting to share with the group in April. Your comments about the materials revolved primarily around the artwork and I took lots of notes on what you’d like me to report to CSLP on your needs.

  • You have asked for artwork that is bold, vibrant, and colorful with a simplified design using modern and eye-catching graphics
  • You have requested various shapes, sizes, and types of artwork
  • You need blank space on the posters for library information
  • PDFs that you can edit would save you tons of time
  • More activities, craft ideas and puppet plays would be appreciated

I was super excited to read about all the new things you are trying in your libraries in an effort to engage your community. You’ve found new ways to encourage reading from creating program milestones to providing ways to “level up”. You are reaching out to your community and creating partnerships that allow for programming that your audiences find interactive and challenging. You are actively seeking new and innovative ways to interest teens and adults in the Summer Reading Program.

I couldn’t be happier to serve such a determined, creative, hard driving bunch of librarians and I look forward to seeing what we can do together in 2018. Please let me know if you have any questions about the survey results or if there is anything I can do to help you as you prepare for 2018.

Don’t forget to order your free CSLP materials by November 15th, 2017! The order form is here: .


Public Libraries: Order Your Summer Reading Supplies for 2018!

Texas public libraries may now order the free 2018 CSLP posters, bookmarks, reading logs, and certificates that will be provided by the Texas State Library. The online order form is available at:
November 16th, 2017 is the deadline for submitting orders for free materials

“Libraries Rock!”/”¡Las Bibliotecas Tienen Ritmo!” is the slogan for the 2018 CSLP early literacy, children’s, teen, adult, and all ages programs! The theme is music and unique artwork has been created for each age group by illustrator Brian Pinkney.

Please view the 2018 CSLP artwork, including the posters, certificates, bookmarks, and reading logs, at

Questions about this or other Texas Summer Reading Program topics? Visit the State Library summer reading page or contact us at, 512-463-5465, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free for Texas).

The Texas Summer Library Program is funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2017)

Take the 2017 Texas Summer Reading Program End-of-Summer Survey by Oct. 6th

Please take the Texas Summer Library Program End-of-Summer Survey!

CSLP logo

Nearly 500 Texas libraries ordered artwork purchased through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (2016) for their summer reading programs.

We ask that all participating libraries complete our End-of Summer Survey so that we may report on your programs. Please complete one survey for all branches in your library system.

The survey will be available through October 6, 2017. Here is a direct link to the survey:

Please send questions and photos of your summer programs to Katherine Adelberg at; I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you so much to the 135 libraries that have already completed the survey:

Alma Carpenter library
Alvord Public Library
Amarillo Public Library
Andrews County Library
Arthur Temple Sr. Memorial Library
Azle Memorial Library
Beaumont Public Library System
Bee Cave Public Library
Bertha Voyer Memorial Library
Betty Foster Public Library
Boyce Ditto Public Library
Brazoria County Library System
Bremond Public Library & Visitors Center
Bridge City Public Library
Brownwood Public Library
Buda Public Library
Burkburnett Library
Calhoun County Public Library
Cameron-J Jarvis Troup Municipal Library
Childress Public Library
City of Wolfforth Library
Clint ISD Public Library
Collingsworth Public Library
Cooke County Library
Copperas Cove Public Library
Corsicana Public Library
Cozby Library and Community Commons
Crane County Library
Crockett County Public Library
Crosby County Library
Deaf Smith County Library
Deer Park Public Library
Denison Public Library
Dublin Public Library
Duncanville Public Library
Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library
Ector County Library
Edwards Public Library
El Campo Branch Library
Electra Public Library
El Paso Public Library
Fannie Brown Booth Mem. Library
Fayette Public Library
First Colony
Fort Bend County Libraries
G.B. Burton Memorial Library
George Memorial Library
Georgetown Public Library
Gibbs Memorial Library
Grapevine Public Library
Haltom City Public Library
Harper Library
Hitchcock Public Library
Hockley County Memorial Library
Howard County
Howe Community Library
Imperial Public Library
J. H. Wootters Crockett Public Library
Jeff Davis County Library
Jennie Trent Dew Library
John Ed Keeter Public Library of Saginaw
Judy B McDonald Public Library
Kendrick Memorial Library
Kennedale Public Library
Kountze Public Library
Lake Travis Community Library
Lake Whitney Public
Lake Whitney Public Library
Lampasas Public Library
Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library
Lillie Russell Memorial Library
Llano Public Library
Lovett Memorial Library
Lumberton Public Library
Mae S. Bruce Library
Marathon Public Library
Marble Falls Public Library
Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Public Library
Medina Community Library
Melissa Public Library
Memphis Public Library
Midkiff Public Library
Mineola Memorial Library
Mitchell County Public Library
Montgomery County Memorial Library
Moore County Library System
Muleshoe Area Public Library
Natalia Vet. Mem. Library
Navasota Public Library
Newark Public Library
Newton County Public Library
Nicholas P Sims Library
Olney Community Library and Arts Center
Orange Public Library
Paris Public Library
Pasadena Public Library
Patrick Heath Public Library
Pearsall Public Library
Port Arthur Public Library
Post Public Library
Rankin Public Library
Ransom Canyon Children’s Library
Reagan County Library
Rio Grande City Public Library
Riter C. Hulsey Public Library
Robert J. Kleberg Public Library
Rockwall County Library
Round Top Family Library
Sachse Public Library
Sammy Brown Library
Sanger Public Library
Schulenburg Library
Scurry County Library
Seagoville Public Library
Sherman County Public Library
Sterling County Public Library
Sulphur Springs Public Library
Sunnyvale Public Library
T.L.L.Temple Memorial Library
Texarkana Public Library
Tri-Community Library
Universal City PL
Upshur County Library
Upton County Library McCamey
Van Zandt County Library
Virgil & Josephine Gordon Memorial Library
Waskom Public Library
Wells Branch Community Library
West End Library
West Public Library
Wharton County Library
White Settlement Public Library
Wichita Falls Public Library
William R. “Bill” Ellis Memorial Library
Wimberley Village Library


LDN Staff Celebrate Summer With Their Recommended Reads & Listens

hand holding a slice of watermelon in front of wood panels

IG user: chiccrafty


Happy longest day of the year! In light (pun intended) of the summer solstice today, we thought we’d share some of our favorite reads and listens for the summer ahead.  Please share your own recommendations in the comments!

Ann Griffin, Electronic Resources Coordinator
Reading: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
This is an award winning autobiography about a successful female geobiologist.  Dr. Jahren has received three Fulbrights among other awards and has worked hard to overcome her bipolar disorder.

Also reading: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben.
This is fascinating material about written for and by a layperson.  Apparently, flora and fauna both are both sentient – so be nice to your plants.

Also reading: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf.
The biography of a visionary nineteenth century German naturalist and explorer who expanded science’s understanding of the nature of Nature.  His big insight was that the Earth is one interconnected ecosystem.


Cindy Fisher, Library Technology Consultant
Listening to: Gravy from the Southern Foodways Alliance
From chili powder to tobacco, fish camps to falafel, the Gravy podcast explores the diversity of southern food culture; I listened to episodes on a road trip from New Jersey to Texas and it was a perfect way to learn about the culinary traditions of those inhabiting the landscapes I was driving through. If you love food, you’ll love this podcast!

Reading: Swing Time  by Zadie Smith
A beautifully crafted novel that explores identity and friendship in modern day England and West Africa where dance and rhythm provokes both nostalgia and self-exploration.  Jazz, dub reggae and Michael Jackson fade in and out as this novel’s soundtrack. A perfect summer read that will make you want to simultaneously get up and dance and reconnect with an old friend.


Kate Reagor, Resource Sharing Support Specialist
Listening to: Rabbits from the Public Radio Alliance
Podcasts have been instrumental in bringing back the serialized radio drama, and the studio who released two of my favorites – The Black Tapes, and Tanis – recently came out with a great new docu-drama called Rabbits. Imagine a story that incorporates elements of Ready Player One, Twin Peaks, and Pokémon Go, presented in an NPR-esque radio documentary format. The official description reads: “When Carly Parker’s friend goes missing under mysterious circumstances after playing a mysterious game known only as Rabbits, she begins to suspect that this is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”


Kyla Hunt, Library Management Consultant
Listening to: In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording
I have described this as a soap opera to music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which makes it an automatic win in my book. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony Award winning musical, this soundtrack is upbeat and catchy, a perfect album to listen to while working.

Reading: Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
Child actress Mara Wilson (from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda) writes witty and eloquent essays about growing up and out of the spotlight, struggling with OCD, and finding her voice as a speaker and a writer. I have followed Mara Wilson on social media for quite a while, and found her book of essays as entertaining as I had hoped.


Jennifer Peters, Community Engagement Administrator
Listening to: You Must Remember This podcast
Dedicated to “exploring the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century,” this well-researched podcast is a must for classic movie buffs. Karina Longworth’s most recent series, “Dead Blondes,” focuses on the Hollywood actresses who defined, and were later defined by, the blonde stereotype in films. She has a number of other great series, including my favorite, “Six Degrees of Joan Crawford,” and others on the Hollywood Blacklist, Hollywood during World War II, and the Manson murders.

Reading: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Two short, seminal essays. What Baldwin says about race in America is as relevant now as it was when originally published in the early ‘60s.

Also reading: The World’s Largest Man: A Memoir, by Harrison Scott Key
This memoir about a shy, bookish boy growing up in rural Mississippi with a boisterous outdoorsman for a father made me burst out laughing on an airplane. The embarrassment was worth it.


Russlene Waukechon, TexShare E-Resources Coordinator
Listening to: Classic 70s music
It was 1972 and this was the #1 hit song that summer. No other song before or since has ever evoked Summer as much as Seals and Crofts Summer Breeze. “…See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night
A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright”…