Summer Library Programs
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Your IFLS staff expert for this subject is Leah Langby.
Like everything in libraries, the summer library program is something that needs to be tailored to the community your library is in, as well as the capacity of staff and budget. Each library will have a unique approach. Here are some tools and resources.
Collaborative Summer Library Program
Wisconsin is a part of this multi-state project and gives you access to a jam-packed planning manual (made possible with funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.) This year’s theme is All Together Now. The manuals, featuring illustrations by nationally-recognized artist Frank Morrison, include illustrations, promotional materials and ideas, program ideas for all ages, booklists and more.
- Link to the CSLP home page
- Link to the CSLP manual download page–submit a HelpDesk Ticket or conatact Leah for the code you’ll need to access the manuals
Upcoming themes: 2024 will be Adventure Begins at Your Library with illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal. 2025 is Color Our World and will focus on art, with illustrations by Brian Floca.
Here are a list of resources to support developing excellent summer library programming.
- Beanstack. an online platform for building reading challenges for all ages. Beanstack is available to all public and school libraries in Wisconsin, funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction with money from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, If your library is not already set up with Beanstack and you are interested in learning more, contact Leah!
- Programming Kits or any kits that promote collaboration and/or kindness. On this page we’ve share a selection of kits we curated that fit well with the All Together Now theme.
- Doing Good Together is a website chock-full of meaningful family-oriented volunteer projects and suggestions for hosting a Service Fair.
- Learning Beyond: 21st Century Summer and Out of School Time Programs for Youth (Association for Library Service to Children) is a 35-page resource with suggestions about designing and evaluating programs, creating partnerships, and lots of great case studies.
- The IFLS Civic Labs resource has lots of ideas for creating healthy and respectful dialogue opportunities at your library.
Libraries WIN Programming Kits Related to All Together Now 2023 Summer Library Program Theme
Get all the details about how to get these kits on the IFLS Kits page.
- Breakout EDU Kits (both IFLS and WVLS): Includes locking boxes, various locks, reflection cards, red lens viewer, UV light, invisible ink pen, and manual with ideas for puzzles. Ideal for groups to solve together! Great for school age, teens, and adults.
- LEGO Mindstorms Kit (WVLS) Teams can work together to create and command robots that walk, talk, think, and do all sorts of things! Great for tweens and teens.
- LEGO WeDo Kit (IFLS) Comes with LEGOs and a Chrome book to allow groups to create and program robots. Great for tweens and teens.
- Maker Kit: Paper Making (IFLS): All the supplies a group would need to recycle old paper into new paper (blenders, screens, tubs, bottles, gloves, books). Use to make seed cards and more! Great for all ages.
- All Together Now Collaborative Play (IFLS) This kit will be excellent for promoting collaborative play, with a spinning top building kit from Rigamajig and three collaborative board games for 2-6 players each (Sloth in a Hurry improv game; Lion in My Way collaborative/creative problem-solving game; and Gnomes at Night collaborative problem-solving game). Great for school age.
- Magna-Tiles (WVLS) Hours of fun collaborative buliding play with these colorful, magnetized tiles! Great for preschool and school age.
- Early Childhood Large Motor Kits (IFLS) Most of these kits have a parachute and many have instruments to play together. Great for preschool and early elementary.
- Early Childhood Play Kits (IFLS) These are designed for collaborative imaginative play! There’s an animal kit, a building kit, a home and community kit—great for preschool and early elementary.
- Early Chidhood STEM: Water Science Kit (IFLS) All set up for water play for preschoolers and early elementary!