Merri Monks, Sarah Day (Alden Public Library) and Anna Hartmann (Council Bluffs Public Library) were in Atlanta, GA last week for the annual Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).
CSLP is a consortium of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Mariana Islands, Federated Islands of Micromesia, and the Cayman Islands working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.
By combining resources and working with a exclusive contracted vendor to produce materials designed for CSLP members, public libraries in participating states or systems can purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives at significant savings.
In the fall, Monks is in charge of coordinating Summer Library Program workshops across the state. More than 500 public librarians attend the workshops where they learn more about the CSLP theme, the curriculum, and resource materials for the following year's summer library programs. This fall's instructors will be Sarah Day and Anna Hartmann. Participants have access to the same artwork, incentives and publicity, in addition to an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas.
CSLP began in 1987 when ten Minnesota regional library systems developed a summer library program for children, choosing a theme, creating artwork and selecting incentives that public libraries in the regions could purchase and use. State libraries and systems continue to join and CSLP continues to evolve, but its guiding principle remains the same, librarians sharing ideas, expertise and costs to produce a high-quality summer reading program for children.