Summer Reading Program

Montana is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries.

By combining resources and working with an exclusive contracted vendor to produce materials designed for CSLP members, Montana public libraries can purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives at significant savings.
Each year, CSLP produces four summer reading programs centered around a similar theme. The four programs offered include: early childhood, children’s, teen, and adult. 

Contact Bobbi deMontigny with questions on this program.
2024 Program Theme: Adventure
Slogan: "Adventure Begins At Your Library"
Artist: Juana Martinez-Neal

The 2024 CSLP Manual is now available for Montana libraries to download and use! Please check with your library director to get the PDF with the access code and directions, or reach out to Bobbi deMontigny for the code
If you are new to Montana, or new to Summer Reading, here are some places for you to start with planning your Summer Reading program!

To Do:

Create a CSLP account at the CSLP website! It's free, and gives you access to more materials and information. To create a FREE account, please follow these directions:
Go to CSLP's website:
Click on the "Log-in" button in the upper right, and click on "Register" to create your account.
Once you create your account, CSLP will verify your account to make sure your library is part of their membership. This may take a day or two.
Log-in with your account and start exploring the Summer Reading resources that CSLP has to offer! Be on the lookout for directions on accessing your CSLP manual in September/October! 
The State Library will email out directions on how to access and download the online manual from the CSLP website. You MUST have a CSLP account to access the manual. The manual is free for Montana public libraries to access.
Participate in Summer Reading Brainstorm Webinars! The Montana State Library will host multiple Summer Reading Brainstorm opportunities in the months leading up to summer.
These will be a mixture of webinars and in-person sessions, usually happening in January/February and at MLA in April. This is a great time to bring questions, and hear what your peers are doing.

Remember, you are welcome to reach out your CSLP representatives at any time!
The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to kids throughout the summer months when school is out. The SFSP is administered in Montana by the Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs. Many Montana libraries participate in SFSP, either by participating as a host site and providing space, or providing activities and books for attendees during meal times.

If your library is interesting in participating more in SFSP, please look at the following resources:
Summer Food Service Program - OPI Homepage
CSLP Summer Food Resources
Town Pump has long supported public libraries through their charitable foundation and have a  separate grant for libraries due to the positive impact summer reading was having on student learning outside of school settings.
Each grant is $1,000, and any public library in Montana is eligible to apply. Please see the following information for the application:

The Keep Kids Reading Town Pump Grant Application opens March 1st, 2024 through April 15th.
Checks will be issued in the first week of May.
Please apply through the Town Pump Charitable Foundation Grant Application website. Click on "Keep Kids Reading" to open the grant application for that program on March 1st. 

Previous Summer Reading Programs

2023 Program Theme: Kindness/Friendship/Unity
Slogan: "All Together Now"

2023 Summer Reading News and Resources:

Summer Symposium webpage on CSLP website
Brainstorming sessions on YouTube

Additionally, be sure to follow CSLP on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! @CSLPreads on all platforms. 
2022 Program Theme: Oceanography
Slogan: "Oceans of Possibilities"
2022 Summer Reading Trunk with MOR and FWP
Since 2012, MSL has partnered with the Museum of the Rockies to create a themed trunk full of activities that libraries can directly use with their patrons. This year's trunk focuses on Montana's aquatic life from the past and the present. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks also joined in to partner on this trunk - thanks to both organizations for all of their help and support! 

Fish Game PowerPoint: Download and edit according to how you want to set it up at your library!

How to Borrow the Trunk
For 2022, MSL only created one copy of the Summer Reading Trunk, and will be organizing a tour of the trunk to libraries across the state that request to borrow it. Please use the form below to submit your borrowing request before May 13th. Priority will be given to libraries that partner with other organizations/libraries in their area, so that multiple entities have plans to use the trunk during the borrowing period. 
2022 Summer Reading Trunk Request Form (submission deadline May 13th)


2022 Summer Reading Planning Resources

National Oceanographic Data Center:  National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Government site archives and provides public access to a wealth of global oceanographic and coastal data, products, and information.
NOAA Education: The NOAA Education Portal is your one-stop shop to connect with learning and teaching resources about the ocean and atmosphere. Discover curricula, lesson plans, and real-time data to bring NOAA science into your classroom. Explore opportunities for educators and students of all levels. Apply for competitive funding for education projects.
Earth Observing System (EOS): NASA. EOS is the Earth Observing System, in which satellites are used to monitor changes in climate on Earth from Space. The Educational part of this site provides free posters (one per teacher) about Ocean Processes, and how they relate to climate change, as well as a slide set (digital on-line) this topic. Great for on-line lectures. There are numerous other climate-related posters and slide sets, as well as links to educational products related to climate change.
Introduction to Physical Oceanography: M. Tomczak, Flinders University. Online lecture notes for college introductory physical oceanography course. Includes topography, sea water, salinity, heat and mass budgets, depth, thermodynamics, thermohaline processes, climate, waves, tides, estuaries, instrumentation, and exercises.
Oceanography, Earth & Marine Sciences, UC San Diego Library: The UC San Diego Library is recognized as having a world-class oceanography collection. Use the online guides, links, and resources below to discover the print and digital collections and resources in oceanography, earth and marine sciences, intended for the support of research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the world's premier oceanographic institution, researchers at the University of California and at other oceanographic institutions and centers around the world.

Informational Websites about Montana Water/Marine Life

Flathead Lake Bio Center: The FLBS Mission is to serve the Flathead Lake region, the state of Montana, the nation, and the world by advancing a cutting-edge research, monitoring, education & outreach platform for limnology, ecology, and environmental science at Flathead Lake. They have educational resources for K-12 on their website.


2020 Program Theme:

Theme: Fairy Tales/Mythology/Folklore
Slogan: "Imagine Your Story"
Artist: LeUyen Pham


Use CSLP artwork as long as you like! Member libraries no longer have to worry about pulling images from their websites after the program year. All CSLP artwork created after 2017 can be used indefinitely!

Use CSLP artwork and slogans on any "one-of-a-kind" item. Paint the slogan on the library's windows? Yes! Create a quilt based on the artwork? Yes! Use your topiary skills and transform the library's hedge into one of the characters from a CSLP poster? Absolutely, and please send photos!

Please see the Revised Rules of Use Webpage for more information.
Webinar: 2020 Summer Reading Brainstorm (Thursday, 1/23, from 12 - 1 pm)

2020 Museum of the Rockies Summer Reading Kit

The Montana State Library is partnering again with the Museum of the Rockies to create Summer Reading Kits for public libraries to use in their summer reading programs. The kits will contain four activities that draw on both the CSLP theme of "Imagine Your Story" as well as the holdings and educational topics that the Museum of the Rockies supports. Libraries will be able to keep the kit permanently and will not be expected to send it on to other libraries, or return it to MOR after use. 

To find out more information about the 2020 MOR Summer Reading Kit, please attend the "Imagine Your Story: Museum of the Rockies Summer Reading Kit" webinar on February 13th, 2020, from 2:30 - 3:30 pm. The webinar link and registration can be found on the webinar event description page in ASPeN.

You must apply for the 2020 Summer Reading Kit. Limited supplies are available, so not all applicants will receive a kit. 


Here is the list of supplemental materials from the 2/13/20 "Imagine Your Story: Museum of the Rockies Summer Reading Kit" webinar.
Humanities Montana
Storytelling Podcasts
Star Stories from OPI Indian Education for All
This program is funded by CARES Act and IMLS funds.
2020 Summer Reading - Final Report

For those interested in how 2020 Summer Reading went, please view the following StoryMap with feedback and reflections from Montana libraries.

2019 Summer Reading: A Universe of Stories
2019 Summer Reading Program Materials: A Universe of Stories
2019 CSLP Ordering Catalog (PDF) - A hard copy version is available through the Montana State Library. Contact Bobbi deMontigny Kim if you want one!

NASA Downloadable Posters (PDFs) - High quality, beautiful, and FREE posters of space! This 14-poster "Vision of the Future" series was designed by 9 artists, designers, and illustrators to celebrate and inspire scientific imagination. 
STARNet - Universe of Stories Website (STEM Programming Ideas) - STARNet has partnered with CSLP to share science and technology-related resources with libraries for 2019! Check out their website for resources and ideas on STEM-related activities.

NNLM Summer Reading Health Programming - The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) has partnered with CSLP to bring health programming ideas for the summer! Check out their website for ideas about exploring DNA and family history, making stardust, discovering astronaut food, and more!
2019 CSLP Resources and News

Summer Meals at the Library - CSLP has created two resources to support and facilitate public library participation in the Summer Food Service Program.

2019 Teen Video Challenge from CSLP - Do the teens in your library like to make videos?  Encourage them to participate in the Collaborative Summer Library Program 2019 Teen Video Challenge this summer! This year's Teen Video Challenge will be a NATIONAL contest and five winners will be chosen to receive a $200 cash prize plus $50 worth of summer reading materials for their library. *New* this year, the challenge will run through the summer, so you can hold video making programs in June and July.  Videos can be submitted June 1-August 2, 2019.  These 60 second-or-less videos should be their interpretation of the 2019 slogan "A Universe of Stories." For more information, including complete contest rules, visit the 2019 Teen Video Challenge link. 

2019: Earth and Space Science Resources in Montana

The Montana State Library has connected with other earth and space science programs and resources in Montana. Here is a list of other organizations who focus on earth and space outreach and might serve as a valuable resource for offering this kind of programming at your library.

Space Outreach Team (SPOT): The Space Outreach Team is part of the Montana Space Grant Consortium,  which is part of a NASA-sponsored national network that is dedicated to strengthening aerospace research and education across the States. SPOT focuses on outreach on Montana schools, youth programs, and community groups, and presenters from Bozeman, Missoula, and Billings travel around giving talks on NASA-related space topics. A new presentation is created each year, and the program is free, although there are some requirements (minimum audience size) and limitations (scheduling). The presentations run about 45 minutes, although there is time and age-appropriate content flexibility. If you are interested in having a SPOT presenter come to your library, please contact SPOT at You can also submit a presentation request through their website: Space Public Outreach Team
Contact Information:
Space Outreach Team Website
Big Sky Astronomy: Based in Kalispell, the Big Sky Astronomy Association is available for presentations and astronomy programming at your library! Association members regularly give presentations on a variety of space topics, and can tailor content to different age levels and audiences. Scheduling and booking a speaker is free, although their area is service is limited to Western Montana. In the summer, Big Sky Astronomy also hosts Star Parties at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park where anyone and everyone is welcome to view the sky through their telescopes, and listen to stories and facts about the night sky (summer 2019 schedule will be available in May 2019). Other areas of interest for the Big Sky Astronomy Association include fighting light pollution and participating in the International Dark Sky Association. To contact Big Sky Astronomy Association for presentation bookings and general questions, please reach out to Mark Pauslon at Note, availability is somewhat limited, so not all requests will be able to be met. 

Contact Information: Mark Paulson,

Western Montana Astronomical Association: Based in Missoula, the Western Montana Astronomical Association works on public outreach to raise awareness and appreciation of space and the night sky. In particular, WMAA has worked with a few public libraries in Montana to create a telescope lending program, based off a lending model started in New Hampshire. Training, handbooks, and guidelines were provided to interested libraries and librarians, and public talks were also given to introduce the telescope and answer general astronomy questions. Additionally, WMAA co-hosts Star Parties and Viewing Sessions at the Blue Mountain Observatory with the University of Montana in the summer. These viewing sessions happen about twice a month, and are free to the public, although you will need to reserve a space in advance as the observatory has limited capacity. The schedule for the Star Parties will be released sometime in the spring, so make sure to check out U of M’s website for more details as summer draws closer. For more questions on the telescope lending program, or any of WMAA’s activities, please contact Nick Wethington at, or you can check out their website at Missoula Sky Website

Museum of the Rockies: The Museum of the Rockies is an excellent source of space-related educational materials! Not only do they have a wonderful planetarium in-house, they have the following programs:

Our Home, Our World: Discovering Earth and Space Science in Kumamoto and Montana Educator's Guide - This cross-cultural curriculum covers paleontology, geology, and astronomy and are designed to be effective in both Japanese and American classrooms and museums. The guide contains several activities regarding star stories, charts, constellations, paleontology, etc and is available online. 
Lending Library Outreach Kits - MOR has a variety of activity kits available for use, though you will have to pay a $25 rental fee, as well as shipping one way. Space-related kits include Cosmic Colors, The Moon, Living in Space, and Rockets. Other themed kits are also available in other science-related areas!
STARLAB Planetariums - MOR has portable planetariums available for public use! This resource is slightly pricier with a rental fee of $175/week or $50/day, as well as shipping costs one way, but it is a really cool way to bring the planetarium experience to your community. 
Stellarium: Stellarium is a "free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Stellarium is very simple to use, which is one of its biggest advantages: it can be easily used by beginners. (from
Open Source Lessons that use Stellarium
Digitalis Open Astronomy Lesson Plans: Note, these lesson plans were not designed with Stellarium specifically in mind, but you might be able to adapt them to fit with Stellarium's capabilities
New Hampshire Telescope Lending Program: From their website "The New Hampshire Astronomical Society, and particularly its Educational Outreach Committee, started placing telescopes and educational materials in selected libraries in New Hampshire beginning in December 2008." If you are interested in starting a program similar to this in your own library, this website has GREAT resources, from costs, set-up, circulation methods, and training, on how to do that.
Solar System Ambassador - Lynn Powers: Lynn Powers is part of the Solar Systems Ambassador network, and is a great resource for space-related programming and outreach. Her programs include toolkits for doing space outreach, solar telescopes for sun-viewing parties, and presentations on eclipses, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing, the geology of the moon, as well as an “Ask an Astronomer” program where people can come with questions to ask her, either in-person or through a webinar. Lynn has presented at libraries before, and much of her programming is scalable, according to the audience. If you are interested in bringing Lynn to your library, please feel free to reach out to her at Please note that Lynn’s schedule is more flexible during the summer, and while there is no presenter fee, she does charge for gas reimbursement.
STARNet - Science-Technology Activities and Resources for Libraries: This website is a GREAT way to look for STEM-related activities and ideas you can do in your library. The most useful section will be the STEM Activity Clearinghouse, where you can search and browse for high-quality and vetted STEM activities using a variety of filters such as audience, content level, difficulty, etc. Activities are also curated into collections, and STARNet has helpfully created a collection called "A Universe of Stories", for activities that are great for the summer reading theme. Other resources include webinars, a blog with news announcements, and opportunities to apply for traveling space science exhibits! 
Women in Science - Posters and Resources: Sponsored by the NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory, this website celebrates notable women in STEM and the amazing contributions they made to the exploration of the world and Universe around us. You can read about these women's stories, find educational activities, as well as print out beautifully designed posters and materials to create your own bulletin board display in your library. 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Infographics: JPL has AMAZING infographics available for free download! You can browse through a variety of available infographics on space topics, or create your own using JPL images and data! Use this to supplement a display that you make in your library.