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Ohio Summer Reading Program

Children and teens who participate in summer library programs benefit from engaging activities and opportunities which promote literacy development and help to counter summer slide.  Summer library programs for all ages enhance lifelong learning and provide meaningful, enjoyable experiences available to everyone in the community.  The State Library is proud to support libraries in this endeavor.

The Ohio State Parks and Ohio State Fair incentives are available for 2018. Details are below under “Incentives”.  Contact the State Library for further information.

The 2018 Ohio Summer Library/Reading Program (SLP/SRP) Evaluation survey is now open. All Ohio public libraries are asked to complete this survey after your summer program ends, and no later than September 15. Your response helps ensure high-quality resources and support for future SLP/SRPs, and helps document the value and impact of summer programs at Ohio libraries. Complete the survey here after your 2018 SLP/SRP. Thank you!

The 2017 Ohio Summer Reading Program Evaluation report describes participation, practices, innovations, and results around the state. Download it here or find it on pages 10-13 of the winter 2018  issue of the Ohio Libraries Quarterly.


The 2018 Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has a music theme and the slogan “Libraries Rock!”  This is the second year the CSLP delegates have chosen one slogan across children’s/early literacy, teen, and adult programs, which is something many librarians have requested.

The artist for the 2018 children’s program is Brian Pinkney.  A separate early literacy program also features  Brian Pinkney artwork. Pinkney is the illustrator of highly-praised picture books including The Faithful Friend, In the Time of the Drums, and Duke Ellington. He often collaborates with his wife, Andrea Davis Pinkney. Brian Pinkney has won two Caldecott Honors, four Coretta Scott King Honors and a Coretta Scott King Award, and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award.

The artist for the teen and adult programs is Larry Jones,  who designed the artwork for several previous CSLP adult programs including including “Build a Better World” and “Escape the Ordinary”.

Libraries Rock! / ¡Las Bibliotecas Tienen Ritmo!

One theme with artwork targeted to different age groups. Libraries are welcome to mix and match, and use whichever visuals are most suitable for your situation. Please be aware of the CSLP Rules of Use when using the CSLP slogans and artwork. Sample artwork:

Early Literacy
CSLP 2018 Early Literacy Artwork
CSLP 2018 Childrens Artwork
CSLP 2018Teen Artwork
CSLP 2018 Adult Program Artwork

Images are copyrighted. Contact the CSLP at 1-866-657-8556 or contact@cslpreads.org for more information. You may download these and other images from your 2018 CSLP manual.


The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio State Fair support Ohio public libraries’ summer library programs/summer reading programs (SLPs/SRPs) with free incentives that may be distributed to SLP/SRP participants. Any Ohio public library may distribute coupons good for $4 off entrance to the State Fair to readers 5-14 years old. Any Ohio public library may distribute certificates for 50% off camping at Ohio State Parks. The State Parks certificate is for all ages. Contact the State Library for further information and for copies of these incentives.


Check out a wide variety of Resources to help you plan and present your SLP/SRP.  Be an advocate and share the benefits of summer reading using Research and Best Practices. Learn how libraries can support the well-being of children and end child hunger in Ohio by participating in the Summer Food Service Program.


Individual public library employees from member states are encouraged to register on the CSLP website. There is no charge to register. Registered members have access to additional graphics and other “extras” to enhance SLP/SRP. Go to http://www.cslpreads.org/ and click on “Login/Register” at the top of the page. Registration requires approval, so you will not be able to access the members-only resources until you receive an email from CSLP acknowledging your membership. General information about CSLP and its programs is available through the CSLP website without registration.

Note: CSLP art/graphics are copyrighted by Upstart for exclusive use by CSLP members and are used by permission.  All public libraries in Ohio are CSLP members. Please review and be aware of the CSLP Rules of Use. A video tutorial, How To Put CSLP Artwork on a Cake, introduces the Rules of Use and explains how libraries can use the CSLP licensed artwork on communications, incentives – and even cakes.

If you need an extra CSLP manual, have questions about CSLP materials or rules of use, or need any support or assistance with your summer reading program, please contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer, library consultant for youth services at the State Library of Ohio at 1–800–686–1532 or jdwyer@library.ohio.gov.

Ohio SLP/SRP Evaluation Report

The 2017 Ohio SLP/SRP Evaluation Report is available for download, and also appears on pages 10-13 of the winter 2018  issue of the Ohio Libraries Quarterly.

The full 2016 Ohio SLP/SRP Evaluation report appears in the 2016 Year in Review issue of the Ohio Libraries Quarterly.

For a summary, please enjoy the video below.

The 2015 Ohio Summer Reading Program Evaluation report is available in the 2015 Year in Review issue of the Ohio Libraries Quarterly. A companion video report is available on YouTube.

Upcoming CSLP programs

2019: A Universe of Stories (theme: Space; artist: Leeza Hernandez)
2020: Imagine Your Story (theme: Fairytales/Fantasy/Mythology; artist: LeUyen Pham)
2021: Tails and Tales (theme: Animals; artist: Salina Yoon)
2022: All Together Now (theme: Changing the World; artist: Sophie Blackall)

Ohio’s four Regional Library Systems offer Summer Library Program/Summer Reading Program workshops in support of public library SLPs/SRPs. The State Library of Ohio is pleased to sponsor the workshops.

All workshops for the 2018 program year have taken place.

If you were unable to attend a workshop, or wish to explore additional content focused on planning and producing SLPs/SRPs, these free webinar recordings may be of interest:

CSLP On-Demand Webinars cover the Children’s and Early Literacy “Libraries Rock!” manuals, with additional tips and ideas. Although the webinars are recorded, there is an active Q&A feature.

CSLP 2018: Early Literacy/School Age, a 48-minute recording from the State Library of Indiana.

Summer Library Program: Early Literacy Manual Review, a one-hour recording from the State Library of Iowa.

Summer Library Program: Children’s Manual Review, a one-hour recording from the State Library of Iowa.

Summer Library Program: Teen Manual Review, a one-hour recording from the State Library of Iowa.

Summer Library Program: Adult Manual Review, a one-hour recording from the State Library of Iowa.

Summer Reading Outcomes, an hour-long webinar from the California Library Association on how to plan and present an outcome- and outreach-based SLP/SRP.

Find additional information and content on our Resources page.


Explore these Summer Library Program/Summer Reading Program resources and enjoy planning!

Research and Best Practices

Summer library programs / summer reading programs (SLPs/SRPs) encourage children and teens to practice reading and literacy skills during out-of-school time, which can help maintain proficiency and counter the “summer slide” (the documented decrease in reading proficiency of students who do not read during the summer).  SLPs/ SRPs offer enriching activities for the entire family and community.

When you promote your SLP/SRP to stakeholders, funders, and the community, lead with the message that your library’s summer activities and opportunities support student learning and family engagement. These links to research and best practices will help you make the case:
  • The vision of the National Summer Learning Association is for every child to be safe, healthy, and engaged in learning during the summer. The NSLA connects summer learning program providers and stakeholders with tools, resources, and expertise to improve program quality, generate support, and increase youth access and participation.
  • Accelerate Summer: A Partnership for Learning is an IMLS-funded collaboration of the NSLA and the Urban Libraries Council to research how public libraries are delivering summer learning activities. The findings point to the importance of participatory activities, community engagement, partnerships, and support from local officials.
  • Urban Libraries Council’s 2016 Leadership Brief: Libraries Expanding Summer Learning, explores how public libraries are expanding their roles as summer learning leaders. This publication builds on findings from the Accelerate Summer partnership. The link downloads the position paper as a  PDF.
  • Adopting a Summer Learning Approach for Increased Impact: a YALSA Position Paper is a 2016 publication that calls on libraries to “expand their efforts beyond summer reading in order to identify and meet the particular needs of the youth in their community”, including building workplace skills, improving English language skills, and offering safe spaces for creativity
  • PA Public Libraries SummerQuest, an initiative of participating Pennsylvania public libraries and the State Library of Pennsylvania, is a summer learning program that helps libraries to create interest-based, experiential, fun summer programming that that encourages children, teens, and adults to learn, grow, and have fun over the summer.
  • The Collaborative Summer Library Program’s Summer Reading White Paper (PDF), updated in 2015, considers the state of research on SLPs/SRPs, the effectiveness of SLPs/SRPs, and best practices.
  • The Importance of Summer Reading, a discussion of public library summer reading programs and learning from the New York State Library.
  • Components of High-Quality Summer Reading Programs, a list from the Youth Services Best Practices for Oregon Libraries blog.
  • The Value of Summer Reading, a research compilation from the California Library Association covering the importance of summer reading programs and the value of reading, resources relating to summer learning loss, and information on generating results that will demonstrate the impact of your summer reading program.
  • Summer Reading Programs, a LibGuide from the American Library Association, includes a section on research and a section on the  benefits of SLPs/SRPs
  • Summer Reading from Reading Rockets provides information about summer reading and summer learning loss, including tips for parents as well as resources for teachers and librarians.
  • How to Create a Knockout Summer Literacy Program by Karen Springen (School Library Journal, March 17, 2014) discusses planning, outreach, collaboration, and appropriate, literacy-related incentives. According to the article, “Many librarians are combining … inventive activities with statistic- and research-based initiatives that track summer reading outcomes. They’re aiming to redress a serious problem: the achievement gap that especially hurts lower-income kids, who typically lose two months of reading proficiency per summer, according to research.”
  • Mid-Continent Public Library Proves Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement by Lauren Barack (School Library Journal, February 12, 2014). This article reports on a pilot study in Missouri that suggests summer reading programs raise student reading levels in the fall, particularly among at-risk kids.
  • Summer Reading and the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap: An Educator Responds to Questions, a June, 2013 School Library Journal interview with Richard L. Allington, co-author of Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap. Allington argues that the main cause of the rich/poor reading achievement gap is unequal access to books. He urges librarians to get books into the hands of children from low-income families, especially during the summer.
  • Evaluating Summer Reading Programs: Suggested Improvements by Joe Matthews is an article originally appearing in the journal Public Libraries in 2010. It summarizes research about summer school programs and summer library programs, and offers recommendations including focusing on children at risk of summer learning loss, and partnering with local schools to assess the impact of the SLP/SRP.

What are the upcoming Collaborative Summer Library Program themes?

The 2019 CSLP program theme is Space, and the slogan for all ages will be “A Universe of Stories.” 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  Leeza Hernandez is the artist for the children’s and early literacy artwork. Here are the slogans, themes, and artists for upcoming programs:

2019: Theme is “Space.” Slogan is “A Universe of Stories.” Artist is Leeza Hernandez.
2020: Theme is “Fairy tales/Mythology/Fantasy.” Slogan to be determined. Artist is LeUyen Pham.
2021: Theme is “Animals.” Slogan to be determined. Artist is Salina Yoon.
2022: Theme to be determined. Slogan to be determined. Artist is Sophie Blackall.

What do I have to do to use these themes?

Every public library in Ohio is a member of the CSLP and is eligible to use the shared themes and related materials if desired. Each fall, every public library receives a manual set in electronic format, full of ideas and resources on the shared theme.  These manual sets are provided to Ohio public libraries at no cost to the libraries. This service is supported in whole by Institute of Museum and Library Services LSTA funds granted through the State Library of Ohio.

Any staff member at an Ohio public library may register with the Collaborative Summer Library Program to access additional resources online.

Do I have to use these themes?

No. Ohio public library is obliged to use CSLP themes. Libraries are welcome to create their own themes and artwork if they prefer. Some Ohio libraries develop their own Summer Library Program/Summer Reading Program (SLP/SRP) theme each year. Some occasionally use the CSLP theme and occasionally craft an independent theme. Some have used the iREAD SLP/SRP program themes and materials (note that purchase of iREAD manuals is at the discretion of the library and is not subsidized by LSTA funds). However, the majority of Ohio libraries use the CSLP theme each year.

Every Ohio public library receives the CSLP manual, at no cost to the library (see above under “What do I have to do to use these themes?”). Libraries that choose not to use CSLP themes may still use and benefit from the programming ideas and other resources included in the CSLP manual.

Regardless of SLP/SRP theme or materials used, every Ohio public library may take advantage of SLP/SRP resources provided by the State Library of Ohio, Ohio’s Regional Library Systems, and partnering agencies, including statewide incentives, workshops, and all  materials posted to this website.

What is the Collaborative Summer Library Program?

The CSLP is “a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries”. Read more about CSLP.

As an Ohio public library staff member, you may sign up for a free account on the CSLP website. This will let you access organizational information and download resources including the online product catalog, graphics, signing videos, PSAs, and more.

This is the fourteenth year that Ohio has been a member of CSLP. 46 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and the Mariana Islands are members of CSLP. Additionally, libraries in California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Virginia are members in part.

When and where do the SLP/SRP workshops take place?

The four regional library systems offer SRP workshops for librarians to share ideas for programs, crafts, decorations, and more.  The workshop schedule is updated when additional workshops are announced.

Where do I order theme prizes and incentives for 2018?

Demco is the official provider of graphics, incentives, and other products for “Libraries Rock!” , using artwork from the program illustrators. Ordering information and pictures are available through the online catalog: http://shopcslp.com.

Paper catalogs were distributed with the 2018 CSLP Manuals. If you need an additional paper catalog, contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer at jdwyer@library.ohio.gov.

Where else may I order incentives for 2018?

For summer reading incentives not affiliated with the CSLP, you may explore:

This is not a comprehensive list! Links to websites are not an endorsement and are provided solely for the convenience of libraries. The State Library is not responsible for their content.

Please see the 2018 CSLP manual for more ideas on incentives, including a sample letter for soliciting donations from local businesses.

What is the deadline for ordering materials from Demco?

Place your order by December 1, 2017 for delivery by March 1, 2018
Place your order by January 1, 2018 for delivery by April 1.
Place your order by March 1, 2018 for delivery by May 1.

Is the artwork available online?

Yes,  the entire manual and all exclusive artwork are available to public libraries online as well as on the CSLP manual USB flash drive or DVD.  Instructions for accessing the online manual and artwork were shipped with your 2018 manual mailing. Contact jdwyer@library.ohio.gov if you need to establish online access. Additionally, approved logos and certain other images are available on the “Proprietary Downloads” section of the CSLP website (login required).

Please read the CSLP Rules of Use regarding use and distribution of the Summer Reading Program artwork.

May I use the artwork to make t–shirts or other products to sell to patrons?

Generally no… The artwork is copyrighted and its use is guided by the CSLP Rules of Use. You may not use it to produce items that are similar in function to products offered in the CSLP/Upstart catalog, unless Upstart and CSLP agree.  If you wish to produce a custom item that is not similar to anything in the catalog, Upstart has the right of first refusal. Please see the CSLP Rules of Use regarding vendor products and custom items Please see the CSLP Rules of Use regarding vendor products and custom items. A video tutorial, How To Put CSLP Artwork on a Cake, introduces the Rules of Use and explains how libraries can request permission to use the CSLP licensed artwork on communications, incentives, and other items.

If you have any questions at all about the CSLP Rules of Use or use of the artwork, please contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer at 1–800–686–1532 or jdwyer@library.ohio.gov.

May I resell products purchased from the CSLP/Upstart catalog?

You may resell products purchased from the Upstart CSLP incentive catalog.  Such sales must be solely for the purpose of supporting the charitable or educational purpose of your library.

I work at a school.  How can I get a CSLP manual and participate?

Only public libraries are included in CSLP membership and have the rights and responsibilities of members, including use of the CSLP manual and artwork.  However, a public library may partner with a school or other organization, and the partner organization may use CSLP artwork on its promotional materials supporting the library summer reading program.  See the CSLP Rules of Use for “Third Parties” for details.

I did not receive a manual, or I need another copy. How can I obtain one?

The State Library of Ohio has extra manuals. To update your address, or if you did not receive a manual, contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer at 1–800–686–1532 or jdwyer@library.ohio.gov.

The Teen Video Challenge is a Collaborative Summer Library Program-sponsored competition for teens to create videos that promote reading, libraries, and the annual CSLP theme. From 2012 through 2016, one video created by a teen or group of teens was selected each year as the Ohio winner in the national CSLP Teen Video Challenge. Few entries were received for the Ohio Teen Video Challenge in 2015 and 2016, so Ohio participation is on hiatus. This page is being maintained to showcase the creativity of our Ohio teens who entered their videos in past years.

The 2016 Ohio winner is “Get in the (Hunger) Games – Read!”, created by participants of the Teen Advisory Board at the Wright Memorial Public Library.
Check out all the 2016 state winners on the CSLP website.

The 2015 Ohio winner is “Groovy Groo and the Book Muncher” created by students at West Branch High School to benefit the Sebring Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. Check out all the 2015 state winners on the CSLP website.

The 2015 Ohio runners-up include “Phantom of the Library”, by teens supporting the Wright Memorial Public Library, and “READ!”, by a teen supporting the Evergreen Community Library.

The 2014 Ohio winner, “Super Readers“, was created by Port Clinton High School Digital Media students to benefit the Ida Rupp Public Library. 2014 Ohio runners-up include “Knowledge is Power“, produced by teens at the Stark County District Library, Plain Branch, and “Libraries Spark Reactions“, produced by teens at the Mercer County District Public Library. These videos promoted the “Unmask!” theme.

The 2013 Ohio winner, “Beneath the Surface“, was created by teens at the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library TAB. Teens around the country were challenged to create videos promoting the “Beneath the Surface” theme.

The 2012 Ohio winner, “It’s In Your Heart“, was created by patrons of the Evergreen Community Library and was featured among the state winners promoting the “Own the Night” theme.