Summer Reading Program


Montana is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), which is 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.

CSLP offers Montana and other participating states a unified and high-quality promotional and programming summer reading product. Participants have access to the same artwork, incentives and publicity, in addition to an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas. The Montana State Library purchases the manual and provides it to all Montana public libraries and branches at no charge. 

Each year, CSLP produces four different summer reading programs for different ages centered around a similar theme. The four programs offered include: early childhood, children’s, teen, and adult. 

CSLP began in 1987 when ten Minnesota regional library systems developed a summer library program for children, choosing a theme, creating artwork and selecting incentives that public libraries in the regions could purchase and use. State libraries and systems continue to join and CSLP continues to evolve, but its guiding principle remains the same, librarians sharing ideas, expertise and costs to produce a high-quality summer reading program for children. Contact Amelea Kim with questions on this program.

2023 Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP)

  • 2023 Program Theme: Kindness/Friendship/Unity
  • Slogan: "All Together Now"
  • Artist: Frank Morrison

2023 Summer Reading News and Resources:

  • 9/20/22: The 2023 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. You can also reach out to Amelea Kim at for the code directly.
  • 10/28/22: 2023 Summer Reading Preview Webinar - you can watch the recording if you missed it!
  • 11/14/22: The Summer Symposium for 2023 registration links are now live! You can register to attend the virtual sessions, or you can watch all of the recordings afterwards. 
  • 2/7/23: Summer Reading Brainstorm Webinars and CSLP Slogan/Theme Suggestions
    • The Summer Reading Brainstorm webinars are now scheduled and available for Montana librarians to attend. Please see the links below for dates/times:
    • 2026/2027 CSLP Theme and Slogan Suggestions Survey
      • Have you ever thought about where our CSLP themes and slogans come from? Who thinks them up? How do we select each year’s slogan? Well, the answer is YOU! Each year we seek feedback from [your state] library staff for future summer slogan and theme suggestions. Libraries from across the nation contribute too and together we come to consensus. So now is your time to SHINE! Please complete the 2026/2027 CSLP Theme and Slogan Survey to suggest ideas for the following:
        • Slogan for the 2026 theme of Dinosaurs - the artist is Kaylani Juanita
        • Theme for 2027
      • You can see previous CSLP Themes and Slogans at the Theme and Slogan webpage. Please share your suggestions by February 27th, 2023.
      • As a reminder when submitting suggestions:
        • A theme is a single concept described in one or two words. For example: space, oceanography, music. The theme for 2023 is unity, kindness, and friendship.
        • A slogan is a short, striking, and memorable phrase that promotes summer programming and CSLP. Examples are:
          • A Universe of Stories
          • Oceans of Possibilities
          • Libraries Rock
          • The 2023 slogan is All Together Now
      • As your State Rep for CSLP, I will submit your suggestions to CSLP for consideration on February 28th. The review process for suggestions will go from March through August, and will result in the top 5 choices for both the slogan and the theme. I will then ask you all to vote again on which options you like best, so I can vote for Montana at the Annual Meeting in September. Let me know if you have any questions on this process (!
    • 2023 CSLP Social Media Toolkit: The Social Media Toolkit for the 2023 CSLP Program is now available! You can view the toolkit at the following link:
      • 2023 Social Media Toolkit
      • This is a living document, so there will be updates throughout the year! I'd recommend bookmarking the link, and checking back to see what changes have been made.
      • Additionally, be sure to follow CSLP on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! @CSLPreads on all platforms. 

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:

  1. 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! Here are some places I recommend checking out:

      • Research on Summer Reading:

        • Summer Reading Resources --> Summer Slide

        • Summer Reading Resources --> White Paper

      • Membership Benefits:

        • Membership and Information --> Rules of Use

        • Membership and Information --> Join a CSLP Committee

      • General Summer Reading Information:

        • Membership and Information --> Newsletters

  2. 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.

  3. 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! Currently, those are the following:

  • Cindy Christin, Bozeman Public Library

  • Amelea Kim, Montana State Library

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:

Starting in 2022, the Town Pump Charitable Foundation has created a separate grant program to support Montana public library summer reading programs. While Town Pump has long supported public libraries through their charitable foundation, they decided to create a separate grant for libraries due to the positive impact summer reading was having on student learning, especially 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:

2023 Keep Kids Reading Town Pump Grant

You can also see the 2022 Press Release for more details.

Previous Summer Reading Programs

  • 2022 Program Theme: Oceanography

  • Slogan: "Oceans of Possibilities"

  • Artist: Sophie Blackall

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! 

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 CSLP News

  • 8/22/21: Check out the poster previews for the 2022 Summer Reading Theme from Sophie Blackall!CSLP Poster Preview
  • 8/25/21: Listening Sessions for Members
    • CSLP Updates and Listening Sessions for Slogans: Have you ever wondered how the summer reading themes and slogans are selected each year?  We plan several years in advance, to allow time to contract with quality illustrators. We are currently working on the 2024 slogan and the 2025 theme.  (Want a little CSLP Theme/Slogan history? – 30 Years of CSLP History). You can campaign for your favorites or help us see possible issues or challenges to the verbiage and translations. We need your input and will use these sessions time to listen as you share your concerns or as you strive to build support for your favorite proposed 2024 slogans and 2025 themes. These 2024 slogan suggestions came from state reps and CSLP membership from across the nation and have been vetted by CSLP's attorney for possible IP/copyright conflicts.  There are nine strong candidates remaining after removing those with potential risk or conflict. Now is the time to identify the best possible slogans and themes.   Your input may influence the final vote by the state reps at the CSLP Annual Meeting on September 23. These sessions are open to all membership. If you have any insights and would like to help us avoid unfortunate translations in the future please add one of the listening sessions to your calendar. Please contact Amelea Kim at for the Zoom links to each session.
      • Session 1 on 9/8 at 1 pm MT
      • Session 2 on 9/10 at 9 am MT
      • Session 3 on 9/13 at 10 am MT
    • CSLP Listening Sessions for Membership Input – Manuals, Website, and More: The CSLP Membership Committee will be asking members (public library staff and state reps) for feedback on the manual, website, and online store, amongst possible other topics.  Help us continue to improve and customize the CSLP resources to better meet your needs. Please contact Amelea Kim at for the Zoom links to each session.
      • Session 1 on 9/14 at 12 pm MT
  • 9/21/21: The download code and instructions for accessing the 2022 Summer Reading Manual have been released! If your library has not yet received your code, please email Amelea Kim at for a copy of the directions and code. 
  • 9/23/21: CSLP Summer Symposium!
    • CSLP is excited to announce our first Summer Symposium
    • Who is this conference for? All library staff that are interested in summer programming.
    • Where is the conference? Virtually anywhere with an internet connection.
    • When is the conference? Thursday December 2, 2021 ~  11:30 am – 4:30 pm (EST)
    • When does registration open? November 1, 2021
    • How much is the registration fee for this virtual symposium? FREE!!!!
    • Where can I learn more? Check out the CSLP Summer Symposium website
    • Schedule:
      • Summer Matters: Making All Learning Count
      • Keynote - Liz McChesney: Elizabeth (Liz) McChesney is the 2021 recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.  McChesney is the Outreach and Partnership Consultant for Laundry Literacy Coalition and the previous Director of Children’s Services and Family Engagement at Chicago Public Libraries. She serves as Senior Advisor to the Urban Libraries Council and as the Library Advisor to the National Summer Learning Association.Summer Symposium Social Media Image
      • You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Flyer: Library Summer Program Marketing Crash Course: Cari Hillman, Community Engagement Director of the MidPointe Library System shares marketing tips and tricks to help make your summer a success. Scalable to libraries of all sizes, this session will outline the power of a comprehensive marketing plan and ways to use CSLP resources for your marketing.
      • What’s Great About Your Community: Extending your connections to youth and families: Join us in an informal conversation about how you can connect with the assets in your community - people, organizations, and places - to build summer services that benefit youth and families. We’ll share examples and provide an opportunity for you to explore your own community’s assets and to get feedback from others.
      • Catch the Programming Wave (with Oceans of Possibilities)! Dive into new programming and display ideas with CSLP!  We will provide oversight to the new 2022 Oceans of Possibilities manual, highlight ideas for all age groups, and delve into display concepts.

2022 Summer Reading Planning Resources

  • Informational Websites about Oceanography and Water
    • 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 Count Down to World Ocean Day on June 2nd - Educational Graphics

    • Ocean Literacy - National Marine Educators Association 

    • 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.

Adult Banner with Whale ImageTeen Banner image with SeahorsesChildren's Banner with Animal Images

Please check this page for updates on the 2021 Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). You can also find information on the CSLP website. Please email with any questions you have.

Poster of animals

2021 Program Theme:

  • Theme: Animals and Stories
  • Slogan: "Tails and Tales"
  • Artist: Salina Yoon

2021 CSLP News

Image of a Lion
  • 10/1/2020: The CSLP Manual is now available! Please visit the CSLP website at to access your library's copy of the online manual. If you are having trouble accessing your copy, or don't know how, please contact your CSLP state rep, Amelea Kim, at
  • 10/7/2020: Montana will not be receiving any print catalogs for CSLP materials this year. If your library would like to order CSLP materials, please visit the CSLP Store on the website and order directly from there. You can also download a PDF copy of the 2021 CSLP Catalog.
  • 10/10/2020:  2020 Summer Reading Report - For those interested in seeing how 2020 went, please see the following StoryMap with feedback and results from Montana libraries
  • 10/20/20: CSLP Tutorials - CSLP now has short video tutorials available on their website to help you navigate and find resources. Check them out on the CSLP Tutorial page, and check back in the future for other tutorials that will be added!
  • 10/22/20: CSLP Teen Video Contest Winners - Please check out the 2020 CSLP Teen Video Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions! The videos created are incredible and inspiring, and it's amazing to see what teens can create.
  • 12/2/20: Here are a few CSLP updates:
    • November 2020 CSLP Newsletter
    • CSLP on Instagram – You can now follow CSLP on their official Instagram account @CSLPreads. Give them a follow!
    • CSLP President Elect – Our very own librarian, Cindy Christin, has just stepped into the role of President-Elect for CSLP 2021! Cindy was serving as the Secretary on the CSLP board, and due to personal circumstances, the President Elect for 2021 had to withdraw her candidacy. A vote was held among state reps, and Cindy was voted in to serve as President-Elect. Congrats Cindy!
  • 1/25/21: Some more resources from CSLP and Zoo Montana
    • CSLP Social Media Kit for CSLP Member Libraries - If you are interested in getting access to CSLP's social media kit, please email Amelea Kim at for the link! This kit has sample captions, hashtags, images, and more, that you can customize to help spread the word about your summer reading program. 
    • Zoo Montana - Zoo Montana is excited to offer live-streamed programs for libraries! Their summer program schedule is available on Calendly, and interested libraries can sign up for a date/time that works for them. Please see the links listed below for more information, as well as supplemental resources from Zoo Montana:
  • 2/16/21: Programming Opportunities for Libraries from the Museum of the Rockies and Montana PBS
    • Digging Into Dinosaurs with Museum of the Rockies - Do you DIG dinosaurs? Join Museum of the Rockies for a three-part series all about PALEONTOLOGY! Museum of the Rockies has one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the United States, and we want to share them with YOU! In this virtual series, you will learn about Montana’s dinosaurs and geology, take a virtual guided tour of the Hall of Horns and Teeth, and  ask questions to our paleontologists. Attend all three programs and receive a Junior Paleontologist certificate, signed by our John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology, John Scannella, Ph.D.! Each program will take place on Zoom and will be 30-45 minutes in length.
      • Cost: Free!
      • How to register: Visit the MOR Library Program website after 3/1
      • Dates: June 7th, 14th, 21st, and July 12th, 19th, and 26th
      • Topics: Montana Dinosaurs 101, Tour of the Hall of Horns and Teeth, and Ask a Paleontologist!
    • MontanaPBS Education: Summer Reading Program
      • Cost: Free!
      • Program Description: Request a fun program from MontanaPBS about lizards! 
      • Topics: Grip like a Gecko, Drink Like a Thorny Devil, Blend Like a Chameleon, Glide Like a Draco
      • Audience: Programs are focused on children aged 3 - 8, and families are encouraged to attend as a group!
      • To request a program: Please contact Deanna Mydland at
  • 3/15/21: CSLP Teen Video Competition - The Annual CSLP Teen Video Competition is back! Please see the links below for information on competitions rules, submission guidelines, and prizes.
    • There will be five national winners, with cash prizes available! 
    • Librarian and teacher support is encouraged, and small teams can work together to submit a video.
    • There are logos you can use to promote the competition on your social media accounts - see the competition homepage link below.
    • Main Teen Video Competition Homepage
    • Teen Video Winners from Past Years
  • 4/5/21: CSLP March 2021 Newsletter
  • 4/19/21: Town Pump Grants for Public Libraries for Summer Reading
    • The Town Pump Charitable Foundation is offering $1,000 grants to public libraries in Montana to help fund summer youth-reading programs.
    • Libraries can apply now through April 30 at The Town Pump Foundation using the Keep Kids Reading application. Grants will be awarded in May 2021.
  • 5/4/21: CSLP April 2021 Newsletter

2021 Summer Reading Planning Resources

  • 2021 Summer Reading Brainstorm Session 1 on January 22nd, from 2 - 3 pm
  • 2021 Summer Reading Workshop with Sherry Norfolk Part 1 on January 29th, from 2 - 4 pm:
    • Come and join Sherry Norfolk, storyteller and former children's librarian, for a fun virtual summer reading workshop based on CSLP 2021's theme of Tails and Tales! Sherry will go through various activity ideas with ideas for virtual and socially-distanced options and help you start thinking about what programs you want to offer in Summer 2021! 
    • Part I on January 22 will focus on programming for toddlers, preschoolers and children with special needs, along with some brief ideas for promotion, kickoff programs, and decorations.
  • 2021 Summer Reading Workshop with Sherry Norfolk Part 2 on February 5th, from 2 - 4 pm: 
    • Come and join Sherry Norfolk, storyteller and former children's librarian, for a fun virtual summer reading workshop based on CSLP 2021's theme of Tails and Tales! Sherry will go through various activity ideas with ideas for virtual and socially-distanced options and help you start thinking about what programs you want to offer in Summer 2021!​
    • Part 2 of Sherry's workshop session will focus on programming for elementary, tweens and teens.
  • 2021 Summer Reading Brainstorm Session 2 on February 11th from 12 - 1 pm: 
    • Come join your fellow librarians from around to state to learn more about the CSLP Theme for 2021, talk about ideas for Summer Reading 2021, and ask/share any questions or comments you may have! In this webinar, we will do the following:
      • Give a brief overview of CSLP and the resources offered to MT public libraries through our statewide membership
      • Review Sherry Norfolk's Summer Reading Webinars from January, and discuss the ideas mentioned
      • Share potential ideas and programs that libraries are thinking of doing
  • 2021 Summer Reading Brainstorm Session 3 on March 24th
  • 2021 Summer Reading Brainstorm Session 4 on April 17th, from 9 - 10:30 am (MLA Conference): Recording available through the Montana Library Association. Please email Debbi Kramer at for access to the recording. 
  • 2021 Summer Reading Brainstorm Session 5 on May 26th, from 3 - 4 pm
  • 2021 READSquared Webinars
    • 12/03/20 READSquared Office Hours Webinar: password is "readsquared"
    • 3/17/21 READSquared Office Hours Webinar: password is "readsquared"

2021 Summer Reading Evaluation

At the end of each summer, the Montana State Library evaluates the summer reading program to learn more about what went well, what was challenging, and what can be improved for next year. MSL uses a survey created by CSLP that uses a mixture of standardized questions that libraries all around the country will answer, and state-individualized questions that are only relevant to Montana. Once evaluation of the summer reading program is complete (typically around September) a Storymap summary will be created and posted on this webpage. For more information about the evaluation survey, please contact Amelea Kim at

MSL also hosts a reflection webinar, which will happen on August 26th, Thursday, from 3 - 4 pm. Please see the Summer Reading Reflection ASPeN Event page for more information.


Imagine Your Story Main Poster

2020 Program Theme:

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

2020 CSLP Resources and News:

  • CSLP Artwork Announcement: CSLP sent the following email on 7/11/19 in regards to 2020 CSLP Artwork:
    • "CSLP has revised its Rules of Use and has granted more freedom to its member libraries! Starting in 2020 libraries can:

      • Use CSLP artwork and slogans on any paper good including; Jack and the Beanstalkbookmarks, posters, reading certificates, newsletters, press releases, and activity sheets. If it is printed on paper, you can create it!
      • 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.

2020 Summer Reading Planning ResourcesAnimals Reading Books

  • Summer Reading Webinar MSL Vimeo Collection
  • MLA Session: Summer Reading Kit Unboxing Session (Thursday, 4/2, from 8:30 - 10 am at the Montana Library Association Conference in Missoula) (CANCELLED)
  • MLA Session: Imagine Your Story - Getting Ready for Summer Reading (Friday, 4/3, from 10:15 - 11:15 am at the Montana Library Association Conference in Missoula) (CANCELLED)

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. 

Applications are due on Friday, February 28th, 2020. If you have any questions, please reach out to Amelea Kim at or Jaime August at

2020 Summer Reading Supplemental Materials

Here is the list of supplemental materials from the 2/13/20 "Imagine Your Story: Museum of the Rockies Summer Reading Kit" webinar.

2020 Summer Reading - READSquared

Starting in May 2020, the Montana State Library has signed a two-year contract with READSquared for up to 40 public libraries to use the software to run reading programs online with their communities. If you are interested in participating, please contact Amelea Kim at for more information. 

For more information about READSquared, please see the following resources:

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.

2020 Summer Reading Final Report

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 Amelea 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
  • 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. 
  • 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
  • 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.