"Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August."
—Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty
Can you believe summer is almost here? As a kid, summer was my favorite time to visit the library. I always looked forward to my weekly visits to report all the books I’d read since my last visit. My favorite summer library program had an ice cream theme and I got to put an ice cream scoop sticker on a poster to track every book I’d read. The best ones were scratch and sniff, naturally.
For those of you in public libraries across the country, this is probably your busiest time of year. Have you made all of your plans for your summer reading program? You’re probably on top of this year’s theme, “A Universe of Stories.” To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the moon landing and 60 years of space exploration, libraries across the country will be featuring STEM activities and books for readers of all ages in this year’s summer reading program.
A universe of resources
To help libraries celebrate space, the Collaborative Summer Learning Program and STAR Net have partnered to share STEM resources with libraries. To get access to these resources, including webinars, blogs and giveaways, register your public library. They have great resources available already, including printables and digital downloads. My favorite is the NASA Selfies app - it’s a must for all your ambitious space explorers!
Combat the summer slide
It’s interesting to note that this summer’s focus on space, and thus STEM, is a great way to combat the summer slide - as most kids typically lose two months of mathematical skills every summer. If you need more information on ways summer reading programs can benefit your readers, check out the National Summer Learning Association or summer reading resources from the ALA.
Get creative & have fun
What are the ways you’ll be bringing STEM into your library? Hands-on activities, makerspaces and maybe even stargazing sessions? We suggest rotating displays of NASA heroes like Neil Armstrong, Katherine Johnson, Scott Kelly or Margaret Hamilton. Or perhaps have your visitors adorn your library with models of their favorite or imagined space vehicles. The sky’s the limit for fun and learning at the library this summer!