Summer’s coming…can you feel it? The school year is wrapping up, kids are getting excited, families are planning their activities and the weather is teasing us with intermittent sunshine. If you haven’t reached out to your local school to share information about your summer reading program, now’s your last chance! See if there’s a school picnic, field day or fun day that you could attend to meet kids, offer to Zoom with classes, or send flyers for teachers to send home with students. If you’re out and about promoting summer reading, be sure to borrow one of our brand new outreach kits, stocked with directories, pens and Strong Libraries Strong Communities tablecloths!

On Monday I participated in the first Watertown Rapids STEAM Education Day – in spite of the rain, hundreds of 5th and 6th graders took in a baseball game and visited with representatives from local businesses and organizations sharing information about unique careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math! My focus was on ensuring that kids know that their cards work system-wide, not just at their home libraries, and that our librarians are highly educated, creative problem solvers with unique services at every location! The kids were really engaged in talking about all the ways libraries connect to STEAM (until a groundhog popped up behind me and totally stole the show)!

Grant Opportunity Coming Soon!

This year’s state budget authorized the release of $150k from the Love Your Library Fund to library systems to support this year’s Summer Reading programs! NCLS will be offering minigrants to support libraries booking performers, authors, musicians and cultural presentations. Keep an eye out for the application in the coming days, and begin brainstorming and pricing out possible performers!

Happy Pride!

June is celebrated as Pride Month – an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ history, to promote inclusion and acceptance, and to encourage joy in all identities. ALA’s GLBT Book Month has been rebranded as Rainbow Book Month and specifically highlights literature that reflects the experiences of all in the LGBTQ+ community. Information and resources for Rainbow Book Month are here: The ALSC blog also has a youth-focused round up of great resources for Pride month, serving up display ideas, a diverse book finder, lists of award winners and suggestions for storytimes:

There have been reports, including in Upstate New York, of an organized campaign to vandalize displays and challenge inclusive titles. See ALA’s statement here:

Connecting with Teens

The Youth Services Shout-Out blog has some awesome resources to help you refresh your teen services. They link to a free recording of a workshop presented by Kelsey Bogan called The Trending Library: Engaging Teens in the Library. They also address BookTok. TikTok is where teens are spending lots of their time – and getting a lot of their book recommendations. Even if you’re not on the app yourself, you should stay current on what’s trending, and thankfully there are helpful resources linked in this post that will help!

Promoting Summer Reading Regionally

Remember to submit the details of your upcoming Storywalks here so I can add them to our community map!

Our combined summer events calendar is starting to fill up! Thank you to everyone who shared your summer reading schedules already! I’ve taken a first pass through everyone’s calendars and Facebook pages and pulled as much as I could find – if you add events please shoot me an email and let me know where I can find them! 

As an aside, I have discovered that if your library uses the calendar function in WordPress, I can very easily copy your event details to our Google Calendar. If you’d like to improve your library’s website or have questions about the best and easiest ways to maintain it, come to our Websites 101 class on July 28th! Register here:

Have a great weekend!

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