Lifelong Learning

Summer Reading Program

Montana is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), which is a consortium of states 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 an exclusive contracted vendor to produce materials designed for CSLP members, Montana public libraries can purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives at significant savings.

CSLP offers Montana and other participating states a unified and high-quality promotional and programming summer reading product. Participants have access to the same artwork, incentives and publicity, in addition to an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas. The Montana State Library purchases the manual and provides it to all Montana public libraries and branches at no charge. 

Each year, CSLP produces four different summer reading programs for different ages centered around a similar theme. The four programs offered include: early childhood, children’s, teen, and adult. 

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. Contact Amelea Kim with questions on this program.

2020 CSLP Resources and News:

  • CSLP Artwork Announcement: CSLP sent the following email on 7/11/19 in regards to 2020 CSLP Artwork:
    • "CSLP has revised its Rules of Use and has granted more freedom to its member libraries! Starting in 2020 libraries can:

      • Use CSLP artwork and slogans on any paper good including; bookmarks, posters, reading certificates, newsletters, press releases, and activity sheets. If it is printed on paper, you can create it!
      • Use CSLP artwork as long as you like! Member libraries no longer have to worry about pulling images from their websites after the program year. All CSLP artwork created after 2017 can be used indefinitely!
      • Use CSLP artwork and slogans on any "one-of-a-kind" item. Paint the slogan on the library's windows? Yes! Create a quilt based on the artwork? Yes! Use your topiary skills and transform the library's hedge into one of the characters from a CSLP poster? Absolutely, and please send photos!
      • The revised Rules of Use can be found here: https://www.cslpreads.org/membership-information/rules-of-use/

2019 Summer Reading Program: A Universe of Stories

  • 2019 CSLP Ordering Catalog (PDF) - A hard copy version is available through the Montana State Library. Contact Amelea Kim if you want one!
  • NASA Downloadable Posters (PDFs) - High quality, beautiful, and FREE posters of space! This 14-poster "Vision of the Future" series was designed by 9 artists, designers, and illustrators to celebrate and inspire scientific imagination. 
  • STARNet - Universe of Stories Website (STEM Programming Ideas) - STARNet has partnered with CSLP to share science and technology-related resources with libraries for 2019! Check out their website for resources and ideas on STEM-related activities.
  • NNLM Summer Reading Health Programming - The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) has partnered with CSLP to bring health programming ideas for the summer! Check out their website for ideas about exploring DNA and family history, making stardust, discovering astronaut food, and more!

2019 CSLP Resources and News

  • Summer Meals at the Library - CSLP has created two resources to support and facilitate public library participation in the Summer Food Service Program.
  • 2019 Teen Video Challenge from CSLP - Do the teens in your library like to make videos?  Encourage them to participate in the Collaborative Summer Library Program 2019 Teen Video Challenge this summer! This year's Teen Video Challenge will be a NATIONAL contest and five winners will be chosen to receive a $200 cash prize plus $50 worth of summer reading materials for their library. *New* this year, the challenge will run through the summer, so you can hold video making programs in June and July.  Videos can be submitted June 1-August 2, 2019.  These 60 second-or-less videos should be their interpretation of the 2019 slogan "A Universe of Stories." For more information, including complete contest rules, visit the 2019 Teen Video Challenge link. 

2019: Earth and Space Science Resources in Montana

The Montana State Library has connected with other earth and space science programs and resources in Montana. Here is a list of other organizations who focus on earth and space outreach and might serve as a valuable resource for offering this kind of programming at your library.

  • Space Outreach Team (SPOT): The Space Outreach Team is part of the Montana Space Grant Consortium,  which is part of a NASA-sponsored national network that is dedicated to strengthening aerospace research and education across the States. SPOT focuses on outreach on Montana schools, youth programs, and community groups, and presenters from Bozeman, Missoula, and Billings travel around giving talks on NASA-related space topics. A new presentation is created each year, and the program is free, although there are some requirements (minimum audience size) and limitations (scheduling). The presentations run about 45 minutes, although there is time and age-appropriate content flexibility. If you are interested in having a SPOT presenter come to your library, please contact SPOT at spot.montana@gmail.com. You can also submit a presentation request through their website: https://spacegrant.montana.edu/spot.html.
  • Big Sky Astronomy: Based in Kalispell, the Big Sky Astronomy Association is available for presentations and astronomy programming at your library! Association members regularly give presentations on a variety of space topics, and can tailor content to different age levels and audiences. Scheduling and booking a speaker is free, although their area is service is limited to Western Montana. In the summer, Big Sky Astronomy also hosts Star Parties at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park where anyone and everyone is welcome to view the sky through their telescopes, and listen to stories and facts about the night sky (summer 2019 schedule will be available in May 2019). Other areas of interest for the Big Sky Astronomy Association include fighting light pollution and participating in the International Dark Sky Association. To contact Big Sky Astronomy Association for presentation bookings and general questions, please reach out to Mark Pauslon at mhpaulson@gmail.com. Note, availability is somewhat limited, so not all requests will be able to be met. 
  • Western Montana Astronomical Association: Based in Missoula, the Western Montana Astronomical Association works on public outreach to raise awareness and appreciation of space and the night sky. In particular, WMAA has worked with a few public libraries in Montana to create a telescope lending program, based off a lending model started in New Hampshire. Training, handbooks, and guidelines were provided to interested libraries and librarians, and public talks were also given to introduce the telescope and answer general astronomy questions. Additionally, WMAA co-hosts Star Parties and Viewing Sessions at the Blue Mountain Observatory with the University of Montana in the summer. These viewing sessions happen about twice a month, and are free to the public, although you will need to reserve a space in advance as the observatory has limited capacity. The schedule for the Star Parties will be released sometime in the spring, so make sure to check out U of M’s website for more details as summer draws closer. For more questions on the telescope lending program, or any of WMAA’s activities, please contact Nick Wethington at cycliste737@gmail.com, or you can check out their website at http://www.missoulasky.org/
  • Museum of the Rockies: The Museum of the Rockies is an excellent source of space-related educational materials! Not only do they have a wonderful planetarium in-house, they have the following programs:
    • Our Home, Our World: Discovering Earth and Space Science in Kumamoto and Montana Educator's Guide - This cross-cultural curriculum covers paleontology, geology, and astronomy and are designed to be effective in both Japanese and American classrooms and museums. The guide contains several activities regarding star stories, charts, constellations, paleontology, etc and is available online. 
    • Lending Library Outreach Kits - MOR has a variety of activity kits available for use, though you will have to pay a $25 rental fee, as well as shipping one way. Space-related kits include Cosmic Colors, The Moon, Living in Space, and Rockets. Other themed kits are also available in other science-related areas!
    • STARLAB Planetariums - MOR has portable planetariums available for public use! This resource is slightly pricier with a rental fee of $175/week or $50/day, as well as shipping costs one way, but it is a really cool way to bring the planetarium experience to your community. 
  • Stellarium: Stellarium is a "free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Stellarium is very simple to use, which is one of its biggest advantages: it can be easily used by beginners. (from Stellarium.org)
  • New Hampshire Telescope Lending Program: From their website "The New Hampshire Astronomical Society, and particularly its Educational Outreach Committee, started placing telescopes and educational materials in selected libraries in New Hampshire beginning in December 2008." If you are interested in starting a program similar to this in your own library, this website has GREAT resources, from costs, set-up, circulation methods, and training, on how to do that.
  • Solar System Ambassador - Lynn Powers: Lynn Powers is part of the Solar Systems Ambassador network, and is a great resource for space-related programming and outreach. Her programs include toolkits for doing space outreach, solar telescopes for sun-viewing parties, and presentations on eclipses, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing, the geology of the moon, as well as an “Ask an Astronomer” program where people can come with questions to ask her, either in-person or through a webinar. Lynn has presented at libraries before, and much of her programming is scalable, according to the audience. If you are interested in bringing Lynn to your library, please feel free to reach out to her at l.powers@smasweb.org. Please note that Lynn’s schedule is more flexible during the summer, and while there is no presenter fee, she does charge for gas reimbursement.
  • STARNet - Science-Technology Activities and Resources for Libraries: This website is a GREAT way to look for STEM-related activities and ideas you can do in your library. The most useful section will be the STEM Activity Clearinghouse, where you can search and browse for high-quality and vetted STEM activities using a variety of filters such as audience, content level, difficulty, etc. Activities are also curated into collections, and STARNet has helpfully created a collection called "A Universe of Stories", for activities that are great for the summer reading theme. Other resources include webinars, a blog with news announcements, and opportunities to apply for traveling space science exhibits! 
  • Women in Science - Posters and Resources: Sponsored by the NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory, this website celebrates notable women in STEM and the amazing contributions they made to the exploration of the world and Universe around us. You can read about these women's stories, find educational activities, as well as print out beautifully designed posters and materials to create your own bulletin board display in your library. 
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Infographics: JPL has AMAZING infographics available for free download! You can browse through a variety of available infographics on space topics, or create your own using JPL images and data! Use this to supplement a display that you make in your library. 

Future CSLP Themes:

  • 2020: Fairytales, Mythology, Fantasy, "Imagine Your Story"
    • Artist: LeUyen Pham
  • 2021: Animals, "Tails and Tales"
    • Artist: Salina Yoon
  • 2022: World, Social Justice, Unity, Kindness, Inclusion, Change, Diversity, Equity, Make a Difference, Embrace Different Cultures, "All Together Now"
    • Artist: Sophie Blackall

Past CSLP Themes

  • 2018 Summer Reading Program: Libraries Rock!
  • 2017 Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World

Other CSLP-Related Content