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California Summer Reading Program: Planning and Preparation
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Summer Reading Planning and Preparation

Setting program outcomes

CLA encourages libraries to set outcomes for their summer reading programs and plan programs that will help you achieve those outcomes.

CLA's California Summer Reading Outcomes Initiative provides you with everything you need to develop an outcomes-based summer reading program: two program outcomes, programming ideas, evaluation tools, and a project checklist to keep you on track. We collect your outcomes-based data at the end of the summer and add it to the statewide data on the value and impact of California's public library summer reading programs.

Our outcomes-based initiative enables you to demonstrate the value of your summer reading program. Full information about developing an outcomes-based summer reading program based on California's statewide outcomes is available in the evaluation section of the website.

Nuts and bolts for first timers

View a presentation from our November 2011 training workshop for a guide to planning your first summer reading program.

Summer reading checklist

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives has developed a great checklist for planning a summer reading program. Click here

Purchasing your incentives and other materials

Theme-based incentives, reading logs, and promotional materials are available for purchase from the Illinois Library Association. To browse this year's products and make your purchases, please use the catalog that came with your resource guide or visit the webstore. All purchases from iREAD support library advocacy. For more information about iREAD, including how to establish iREAD as your summer reading vendor, please email or call 877-565-1896.

Creating community partnerships


CLA collects summer reading participation statistics from libraries annually in the fall. CLA staff collate and analyze the data, and maintain statewide records on summer reading participation in California. We send participation survey questions out to libraries in the spring to enable library staff to plan for their data collection. We collect libraries' data by emailing a link to a SurveyMonkey survey in the fall. Each year, the survey asks libraries to report how many children and teens read five or more books during the summer to help us demonstrate how libraries help prevent summer learning loss and among California's K-12 students.

To enable libraries to go beyond counting summer reading participation and evaluate the value and impact of their programs, CLA’s summer reading outcomes initiative provide libraries with the resources they need present outcomes-based summer reading programs. For more information, email Natalie Cole.

Credits and Rules of Use

We ask libraries to please include the California Library Association and California State Library logos on summer reading publicity materials to acknowledge both organizations’ support of summer reading in California. Please note that although the size of the logos may be edited to suit your needs, the color and dimensions must not be altered.

In addition, CLA requests that participating libraries place an IMLS credit line on summer reading publications and information releases to acknowledge that the California Summer Reading Program is funded with an LSTA grant. This credit line is important to foster support from the public and by state and federal funding sources.

An appropriate statement for a publication or press release is:
“This [publication/project] was 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.”

Recommended reading

Dresang, Eliza T., Melissa Gross, and Leslie Edmonds Holt. 2006. Dynamic Youth Services through Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation. Chicago: American Library Association.

Fiore, Carol D. 2005. Summer Library Reading Program Handbook. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman.