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Insider Article [February 2014] [02/04/14] (SRP Outcomes Initiative)
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California Summer Reading Outcomes Initiative 

Will you be presenting an outcomes-based summer reading program this year?

You know that your summer reading programs make a difference:

  • They help children and teens retain and enhance their reading skills during the summer.
  • They help adults model reading behaviors for youth.
  • And they provide a haven and a community for readers.

 But how do we share the impact of our work? And how do we extend our programs effectively to underserved communities?

Outcomes-based programs can accomplish all of this and more. They show meaningful results that demonstrate the value and impact of summer reading; they are relevant to the community, attractive to funders, and cost effective.; and they build capacity among staff and contribute to improved management decision-making. 

You can present an outcomes-based summer reading program with CLA’s help:

1.       Adopt California’s statewide outcomes

a.       Children (or teens, adults, families) belong to a community of readers and library users.

b.      Underserved community members participate in the summer reading program.

2.       Plan your summer reading program with the outcomes in mind. Much of what you do will be similar to your regular summer reading program; the key difference is that your planning will be more intentional and you will get results that show the impact of your work!

3.       Collect data to determine whether your outcomes have been achieved.

4.       Report your results to CLA.

5.       Use your results to improve your program and show how valuable it is!

CLA has developed resources to help you every step of the way. All resources can be downloaded from CLA’s website and they include:

  • Ready-made surveys.
  • Tips on identifying and reaching underserved groups.
  • Ideas for tailoring your regular programming, decorations, and publicity to the outcomes
  • An electronic survey for collecting your data.
  •  A report of your library’s results at the end of the summer.

ALA has cited California’s summer reading outcomes initiative as a summer reading best practice!

Please join us in planning an outcomes-based summer reading program. Find out more by emailing Natalie Cole: ncole@cla-net.org

 

The California Summer Reading Program is a project of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.