Children and YA Newsletter

July 2023

Graphic: Happy July!

It's HOT! And so are our summer offerings!

The height of summer heat has arrived... have you found your summer voice yet?! We sure have, and with it, we're updating you on some of our programs: lots of Summer Reading with Reminders, BEBS coworking and grant opportunities, CT Storywalk®, NE Teen Summit date, and a few other tidbits all the way down. Read on to learn all about it.

Kymberlee Powe | Children and YA Consultant

Breaking News! Changes to the Summer Reading Report

Summer reading has some long-standing traditions in libraries. As the CT State Library has embarked on Library Services and Technology Act Five-Year Plan, 2023-2027

centering equity and accessibility, we’ve begun to make big changes, one of which centers on the Summer Reading Report.

NEW questions have been added to the CT State Library Annual Report FY 2023 (forthcoming) to gather statewide information about summer reading in CT libraries. We are giving you a preview of those questions below:

  • CT 2.35 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you run a summer library program for kids 0-5?
  • CT 2.36 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you run a summer library program for kids 6-11?
  • CT 2.37 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you run a summer library program for teens 12-18?
  • CT 2.38 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you run a summer library program for adults?
  • CT 2.39 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you run a summer library program for families?
  • CT 2.40 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you partner with schools on your summer library planning?
  • CT 2.41 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you partner with other local institutions on summer library planning?
  • CT 2.42 NEW in 2023: For Summer 2023, did you use the iREADresource guide?

Measuring and Understanding Summer Reading Outcomes

Summer Reading is part of the foundation of library services. Naturally, we want to know what our communities think of this core offering. Does summer reading make folks feel welcome? Does it make people want to return to the library? We are all seeking to remain in connection with and relevant to our communities. Measuring and understanding outcomes feeds this work.

DLD supports and encourages libraries to think deeply about the outcomes we’re working toward and what difference we want to see in skills, behaviors, and attitudes. Going beyond outputs to outcomes will help you to better understand the assets and challenges of your communities and how the library can continually work with stakeholders and community members to support the entire community during the summer months.

Towards this, we offer you the tools we've developed and offered in recent years. Though optional this year with the inclusion of Summer Reading in the CT State Library Annual Report (discussed above), we strongly encourage taking advantage of the Summer Reading Reports for 2023:

Planning Ahead for 2024 Summer Reading?

We know that preparing, planning, and implementing summer reading is practically a yearlong cycle - which is why we are thinking ahead!

If you are interested in getting access to the 2024 iREAD Resource Guide, visit the Summer Reading Report Information LibGuide page, and find the third tab "2024 iREAD Resource Guide" to complete the form.

The theme for 2024 is Read, Renew, Repeat, featuring environmental conservation. "Conservation as a movement focuses on protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services, and protecting biological diversity." Visit the iREAD website to learn more.

Building Equity Based Summers Through Libraries & Communities (BEBS)!

The CT State Library is looking for five Connecticut public libraries to participate in the second year of this three-year initiative.

Logo: Building Equity Based Summers (BEBS)

Through eight coworking sessions, each participating library will work with their state consultant through various activities to learn to build library staff skills and summer library programs and services that are equitable across a community.

Participants will work to evaluate:

  • The Why of Summer Services and the Why of Equitable Summer Services
  • Letting Go of Tradition
  • Connecting with Community Voices for Equitable Summer Services
  • Summer Services Impact: What Does Success Look Like?

For more information about BEBS and access to the application visit our LibGuides page. The application deadline is September 18, 2023 at 4pm.

CT Storywalk® Program

A StoryWalk® is a fun activity that engages families in literacy while being physically active through walking or hiking. Pages from a children’s book are printed and placed in wood frames along a walkable path.

Families have fun reading aloud together and building children’s interest in reading while enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of the outdoors.

Image of Storywalk offering outside under a beautiful, leafy tree.

In partnership with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental State Park & Public Outreach Division, the CT State Library has created the CT Storywalk® Program. It encourages children and families to visit multiple permanent Storywalk® setups at various CT State Parks and State Forests. Stories at the four Storywalk® locations will be changed quarterly for fun all year round. 

CT Storywalk® Locations:

  • Dinosaur State Park & Visitor Center, Rocky Hill, CT - NOW OPEN!!
  • Goodwin Conservation Education Center, Hampton, CT - OPENING SOON!!
  • Kellogg Environmental Center, Derby, CT - NOW OPEN!! 
  • Meigs Point Nature Center/ Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT - OPENING SOON!!

This project is supported by a generous grant from EBSCO Information Services to the Connecticut Heritage Foundation.

The StoryWalk® project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

New England Teen Summit -

Save the Date

The New England Teen Summit is a day-long, virtual, free professional development conference for library staff who work with teens.

All sessions will be recorded and shared after the event via state listserv. Interested in what we’ve offered for Teen Summit in the past? Take a look at past years' recordings.


Save the date!

More information coming soon!

Save the Date: Teen Summit (a New England Collaborative) 11.17.23

Brought to you by the Connecticut State Library, the Massachusetts Library System, the Maine State Library, the New Hampshire State Library, the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, and the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Check Out the New Theme Boxes from MLSC!

Each box contains a variety of books and activities related to a theme. There's even an activity guide to get you started. Our theme boxes are perfect for your preschool or early elementary programs, story times, or classrooms!

Image: Farmyard Theme Box items

Theme boxes can be reserved in the Story Time Props category in our equipment catalog and have a 45-day loan period.

Themes include:

Cultures of the World



Five Senses

Health & Safety

Life Cycles

Logo: All books. All people. All CT Reads. A program of the CT State Library.

All CT Reads 2023 Virtual Author Launch

with Rosena Fung, Samira Ahmed, and Dawnie Walton

Watch the recording!

Pick an All CT Reads book for a summer program!

The CT State Library Division of Library Development held an extra-special virtual launch with the authors of the 2023 All CT Reads primary selections – Rosena Fung, author of Living with Viola, our kids pick; Samira Ahmed, author of Hollow Fires, our teen pick; and Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, our adult pick. Each author discussed their work and answered questions from our community.

Books for Borrowing

Book discussion sets of all twelve titles are available for reservations and borrowing by public, school, and academic libraries from the Middletown Library Service Center.

Reserve All CT Reads Discussion Sets.

Explore the All CT Reads Website!

Explore the All CT Reads website:

Stay in the loop!

About All CT Reads

All CT Reads is a year-long initiative to promote lifelong reading, learning, and connection that uses a rotating community committee structure to select one main book title and three shortlist book titles, each calendar year 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.

Our Partners and Sponsors

All CT Reads is an initiative of the Connecticut State Library Division of Library Development and partners with the Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC) and the Connecticut Association for School Librarians (CASL).

All CT Reads is supported by a generous grant from EBSCO Information Services to the Connecticut Heritage Foundation.

Logo footer: All CT Reads, CT Library Consortium, CT Association of School  Librarians, EBSCO.

Stay Connected! Join our Email Lists

Our many email discussion lists for the library community help you connect with your peers. Conntech has the greatest reach across the state, and both Goodnightmoon for children's services and Speak for YA services have lively discussions and professional interchange.

Browse the full email list and subscription information.

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

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