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Summer Matters Library Partnerships: Reasons for Partnering
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Reasons for Partnering

Partnerships between libraries and community-based summer enrichment programs benefit

  • children and teens who are enrolled in community-based summer programs,
  • families of the youth enrolled in summer programs,
  • library staff and summer program staff.

Literacy and reading

Reading just five books in the summer can prevent summer learning loss, and reading and literacy are key components of high-quality summer enrichment programs.

  • Librarians know that free voluntary reading, which is at the heart of the library summer reading program, is the best way to improve reading and language development and develop lifelong readers.
  • Libraries offer fun and creative summer reading programs, developed by trained professionals, that encourage kids to set and meet summer reading goals.
  • The summer partnership can engage youth in the library's reading programs, provide them with reading logs, books, library cards, and help summer enrichment programs prevent summer learning loss.

An introduction to the library

Many of the youth who are enrolled in the summer enrichment program are not regular library users. By introducing these children, teens, and their families to the library, the summer enrichment program will provide them with lifelong opportunities and free access to:

  • a safe community space where information and resources are available to all,
  • books and the internet,
  • family literacy programs that help people of all ages reach their potential as workers, parents, and community members,
  • information literacy training,
  • high-quality programs for children and teens,
  • homework help,
  • resources to help families live and thrive,
  • professionals who are trained to help community members find the right information at the right time.

A strong community network

Library staff and summer enrichment staff serve the same families in the same communities. They strive to meet similar goals and are often part of the same professional networks. By developing positive working partnerships during the summer, staff can develop ongoing mutually supportive relationships through which they can:

  • share ideas and experiences and learn from one another,
  • become advocates for one another's work,
  • draw on one another's resources,
  • provide a better service to the community.