CSLP works to develop interest in reading and library use. This includes development and implementation of summer reading programs used nationwide, public service announcements, and other activities which promote reading and library use.

By combining resources and working to produce materials designed for CSLP members, public libraries in participating states or systems can purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives at significant savings.

The participating systems and states develop a unified and high-quality promotional and programming product. Participants have access to the same artwork, incentives and publicity, in addition to an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas.

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.

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