Children and YA Newsletter
September 2021
And we're back to school!

We turned a page (or maybe we swiped, or listened to one...) and somehow landed in the middle of September. Students are back, summer reading reports are wrapping up, and we have lots of new things to share! There's iREAD, the Welcoming Library, Teen Summit, Girls Who Code, and more than one exciting fall event! Read on to learn all about it.
Kymberlee Powe | Children and YA Consultant
Submit Your 2021 Summer Reading Report!
Deadline | Friday, October 1 by 4 pm

Summer is all but done and September is here, which means it's time to submit your 2021 Summer Reading Report. Find all the information you need at Summer Reading Reports and Summer Reading FAQs.

And since we already have a few reports in the door, we thought you might like to hear about insights on the new Patron Survey:

  • “I was actually pleasantly surprised at the number of surveys that were returned…because of COVID, we passed out packets with activity sheets that families could do together, including BINGO reading sheets, scavenger hunts, easy book review forms and a reading log. The packets also included free books, coupons and the survey… We posted on social media about midway through our program, asking patrons to return the survey. We received much positive feedback that we can take to our Board.”
- 2021 Summer Reading Report Comment

Completed forms can be emailed to Kymberlee Powe at [email protected].
We're Moving to iREAD!
As you know, we recently invested time and resources in crafting a new direction for our Summer Reading Program towards an outcome-based model focusing on goal setting, values, and community impact. With this new vision, we have concluded our partnership with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and are grateful for their years of support to deliver summer reading programs in our state.

We are thrilled to share the the CT State Library is moving to iREAD for the 2022 Summer Reading Program. iREAD is a flexible, nonprofit reading program designed by librarians featuring appealing incentives, compelling and adaptable themes, and a comprehensive resource guide chock full of ideas and reproducibles. Connecticut, along with fellow New England States Rhode Island and Massachusetts, joins Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, California, as statewide iREAD partners, as well as all worldwide military base libraries and many individual libraries nationwide, including some here in CT.

Developed and administered by the Illinois Library Association, iREAD offers a summer reading theme, slogan, manual, and graphics program created and curated by youth services librarians. iREAD offers materials for children's, teen, and adult programs and employs four different artists to convey the theme each year. The artwork typically features well known characters from beloved illustrators of picture books and graphic novels. iREAD artwork is made available to READsquared and is used in READsquared SRP templates.
iREAD Summer 2022: Read Beyond the Beaten Path

Begin exploring the theme for next summer! Visit iREAD Summer 2022: Read Beyond the Beaten Path to view the badge, flyer and artists and register to join the September 22nd webinar - details below.

Please note, the iRead program manual will be shared with libraries that submit the 2021 Summer Reading Report. For more information visit Summer Reading FAQs.

For more information visit iREAD or contact Kymberlee Powe at [email protected].
iRead State Partner Webinar: Read Beyond the Beaten Path
Wednesday, September 22 | 3 pm EST 

Join iREAD partner libraries to learn about the 2022 Read Beyond the Beaten Path program, hear about the opportunity to participate in the 2023 Find Your Voice Resource Guide, and offer input on the 2024 theme. The webinar will be recorded and posted on YouTube for those interested but unable to attend.
Introducing the Welcoming Library

The Middletown Library Service Center (MLSC) is hosting the I’m Your Neighbor Books’ Welcoming Library. The Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed children’s picture books featuring New Arrival and New American families.

Given the national conversation about immigration, the Welcoming Library seeks to raise awareness and build sensitivity for all ages through children’s literature. Poet and author Amit Majmudar said in a New York Times essay that the “true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger.” This is the mission of the Welcoming Library, to allow readers to both meet a stranger on the page and to see aspects of their own family reflected.  

Studies have shown that reading builds empathy and that cross-racial scenes in picture books build acceptance. Making this collection of 28 books available at no cost to schools and libraries, Welcoming Library lifts the financial barrier to reading and sharing these important books.
Each book contains a discussion guide affixed to the inside back cover to facilitate engagement in the topics of welcoming and belonging. Whether it is a parent discussing a picture book with a child or a public library story hour, these books will foster crucial discussions on what it means to arrive in a new culture, country, or community. Readers who are “new arrivals” themselves may see their cultures and communities reflected in the narratives in this collection.

100% of the Welcoming Library readers surveyed indicated a positive response to immigration with 66.7% saying, “Reading this book reinforced my feeling that immigrants should be welcomed in my community.” and with 41.7% saying, “I feel inspired by this book and project to find a way to be actively welcoming in my community.” 

I’m Your Neighbor is a larger literacy movement founded to draw attention to immigration children’s literature and to its potential to start sometimes difficult conversations about who belongs here, welcoming, assimilation, and how to celebrate all families.

Four Welcoming Library kits will be available for check out from the Middletown Library Service for 3 months on October 4, 2021.
Teen Summit
Friday, October 8 | 10 am-4 pm

All day, all virtual, all free!

It is an entirely online, and entirely free, professional development conference for library staff who work with teens. Featuring keynote speakers, authors, and breakout sessions from New England Teen Librarians! This year’s schedule includes:

All sessions will be recorded and accessible at the MLS Vimeo Teen Summit Showcase. Final program will be coming soon. Register via the link above to get access to the conference platform and to get updates about recordings.
Brought to you by the Massachusetts Library System, the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, and the Connecticut State Library, and supported by the state libraries of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Join Our Partnership with Girls Who Code!
We are excited to partner with Girls Who Code this year to close the gender gap in tech by bringing free computer science resources to our community. We can’t do it without you, so we hope you’ll start a Girls Who Code Club or renew your existing Club

Clubs Highlights: As always, Clubs are free, open to all genders and students who are gender-nonconforming, and Girls Who Code supports each step of the way to make it a fun and impactful experience. All you need to start a Club are computers for you and the Club members (optional for in-person 3-5th grade Clubs), space—virtual or physical—to meet, and 1-2 hours weekly or bi-weekly to host your Club! Girls Who Code provides everything else, from curriculum and activities, to recruitment materials to help get girls excited about joining. 

No prior coding experience needed! If you’re worried you’re not tech-savvy enough to start a Girls Who Code Club, we’re here to tell you that you don’t need any computer science experience to run your Club, most Facilitators learn to code alongside their Club members. 

Next Steps: Click here to apply or renew today, and make sure to indicate us as your Community Partner for special benefits like additional support, swag incentives, and more!
Introducing Connecticut Pages!

We are thrilled to share that CT Pages is live!

CT Pages is a channel for sharing community engagement success stories by libraries with and for their communities. Beginning in fall 2021, the CT State Library Division of Library Development is partnering with CT libraries to create and release monthly short video conversations with the library staff who make things happen.

In our very first edition, meet Mary Beth Rassulo Assistant Director and Head of Youth Services at the Easton Public Library who enlivens us with her reflections of their pre-COVID revamped Summer Reading Program designed to specifically connect and engage their small, rural community in Fairfield County. From milking cows to keeping bees, hear how the Easton Public Library created a fresh Summer Reading Program on a minimal budget by tapping the humans and resources right in town!

And we need more to share! We are always seeking submissions for consideration.
Do you have a creative, program, service, activity, partnership or project that you want to share with your library neighbors?

'From Our Town to Moon, Mars and Beyond'
Exhibit Application Webinar
Wednesday, September 15 | 1 pm
The Space Science Institute is pleased to announce a new exhibit opportunity for public libraries. 'From Our Town to Moon, Mars and Beyond' will launch in March 2022, traveling to 8 libraries across the country. All public and tribal libraries are welcome to apply. Please register for a pre-application webinar to learn more about this opportunity, ask questions, and meet the project team. The application will open on September 15th, and be due November 15th.
Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash
Latinx Kidlit Book Festival
December 9-10

The Latinx Kidlit Book Festival is a virtual celebration of Latinx Kidlit authors, illustrators, and books for all students, educators and book lovers everywhere. The festival will open its virtual doors from December 9-10, 2021, and present two free days of panels, craft sessions and illustrator draw-offs with your favorite Latinx authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, comic books and poetry. The sessions are geared towards ALL schools, educators, students and book lovers, not just those identifying as Latinx. Everyone is welcome!

The event will run during the school day because they’re hoping to have participation from classrooms! You’ll see in some of the media that students are encouraged to send questions to panelists and will be entered into a giveaway for classroom sets of books. Peruse the schedule to see who will be in attendance - I certainly hope to attend some of these sessions myself!

Join us in sharing about the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival:

Celebrate TeenTober! Baker & Taylor has partnered with publishers to this year to help in the celebration of TeenTober in October. They’ll be hosting two live, virtual author events and a series of pre-recorded author events -- all free and open to libraries and their communities.

No pre-registration needed. Simply join the ZOOM links during the start time. All sessions will be recorded to share afterwards and available online.

Additional pre-recorded events with authors, including David Levithan, Jennifer Niven, and more!
  • Available 9/25 David Levithan and Jennifer Niven discuss their forthcoming title, Take Me With You When You Go
  • Available 10/7 Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal discuss their forthcoming title, Why We Fly
  • Available 10/28 Brandy Colbert and her editor at Harper Collins Jordan Brown, discuss her forthcoming title Blackbirds in the Sky

Book discussion guides and marketing tools (scroll to the bottom) for social media channels, newsletters, and websites are all available for download.
Coming in 2022!
All CT Reads

Launching in 2022, All CT Reads is a year-long initiative to promote lifelong reading, learning, and connection. Each calendar year, All CT Reads uses a rotating community committee structure to select 4 book titles – one main and three shortlist – for three age groups: children (ages 8-12), teens (ages 13-18), and adults. In addition to the books, All CT Reads provides a supported programmatic structure built around the titles with room for individuality and creativity. There will be book discussion sets, discussion guides for book groups, and program ideas for libraries to consider - or create your own!

Stay tuned for more details in October!

All CT Reads is modeled on All Iowa Reads by the Iowa Center for the Book and the State Library of Iowa.

All CT Reads is supported by a generous grant from EBSCO Information Services to the Connecticut Heritage Foundation. EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the preeminent provider of online research content and search technologies serving academic, school and public libraries; healthcare and medical institutions; corporations; and government agencies around the world. For more information, visit The mission of the Connecticut Heritage Foundation is to support the programs and purposes of the Connecticut State Library and Museum of Connecticut History.
Kymberlee Powe
Children and YA Consultant
[email protected] | (860) 704-2207

Connecticut State Library | Division of Library Development
Middletown Library Service Center
786 South Main Street | Middletown, CT 06457