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.

2022 Summer Reading: Oceans of Possibility

Please visit the 2022 Summer Reading page to find out more information about this year's summer reading program!

2021 Summer Reading: Tails and Tales

Please visit the 2021 Summer Reading page to find out more information about this year's summer reading program!

New to Summer Reading and CSLP?

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

Future CSLP Themes:

  • 2022: World, Social Justice, Unity, Kindness, Inclusion, Change, Diversity, Equity, Make a Difference, Embrace Different Cultures, "All Together Now"
    • Artist: Sophie Blackall

Past CSLP Themes

  • 2020 Summer Reading Program: Imagine Your Story
  • 2019 Summer Reading Program: A Universe of Stories
  • 2018 Summer Reading Program: Libraries Rock!
  • 2017 Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World

Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP)

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:

Grant Opportunities for Public Library Summer Reading Programs

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 visit the Town Pump Keep Kids Reading Grant page for the application (available starting 3/1/22) and more details. You can also see the 2022 Press Release for more details.