Summer Symposium

A huge thank you to all of our presenters and attendees!

We are in the process of making the recordings, slides, and materials from the 2021 Summer Symposium available. We will be adding them here, as we have them:

Summer Symposium 2021

Symposium Schedule

Topics: programming ideas, outreach/partnerships, and promotion/marketing. 

11:30-11:45am – Welcome – CSLP Executive Director, Luke Kralik

11:45-12:45 – Keynote – Summer Matters: Making All Learning Count – Liz McChesney

Description:  Summer is a time that highlights educational and health inequities for children in our country. While many children have new opportunities and experiences during summer, the majority of children who have been historically excluded lack access to traditional programs. We will examine new research about summer slide and COVID learning loss, and look at research proven ways in which public libraries succeed in driving deep, lasting, and meaningful changes for our youth during these critical months. We will look at the national trend in positioning library programs in the summer learning context as a way to drive equity and discuss the essential role of outcomes based evaluation as a tool to tell the story of our programs successes and advocate for our programs. We know summer matters for kids: you and your role in the public library are vital for all kids’ success.

Please have the following materials available for this session:

    • 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper ( can be typing, copy or filler paper)
    • 2 paperclips (any size)
    • scotch tape
    • 1 facial tissue ( such as a Kleenex tissue-any size)
    • Rubber band

Presenter Bio:  Liz McChesney is a career-long children’s librarian and spent 31 years at the Chicago Public Library where she worked from a children’s librarian to the Citywide Director of Children’s Services and Family Engagement. Among other initiatives, she repositioned summer reading to summer learning in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association, which broadened access to the program by 50% and earning her an LJ Movers and Shakers Award, the John Cotton Dana Award and the NSLA Founder’s Award for Excellence. It is her program which started a national movement to reassess and align summer to critical 21st Century skills. Liz now consults and leads educational equities initiatives with the Urban Libraries Council, the Laundry Literacy Coalition and serves as a Senior Advisor to the National Summer Learning Association. She is the author of two books for ALA Editions: Summer Matters: Making All Learning Count (2017); and Pairing STEAM and Stories ( 2019). She has written a picture book, Keke’s Super-Strong Double Hugs (2020). She is the 2021 ALSC Distinguished Service Award winner.

12:45-1:00 – Break

1:00-1:45“You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Flyer” – Library Summer Program Marketing Crash Course

Description: 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.

Presenter Bio:  Cari Hillman has nearly 20 years of marketing experience, though she uses assorted social media filters to make it look more like 5. She serves as the community engagement director for the MidPointe Library System in southwest Ohio, overseeing library marketing, system-wide programming and community partnership development. She hates Twitter, loves Instagram and dreams of enlisting TikTok celebrities in her library marketing campaigns.

1:45-2:00 – Break

2:00-3:00 – What’s Great About Your Community: Extending your connections to youth and families

Description:  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.

Presenter:  Sara White is the Youth Services Consultant at the Washington State Library. She believes deeply that libraries empower youth to have a voice, pursue their unique passions, and connect with their community and world. After graduating from the University of Washington’s Information School in 2010 with her Master’s in Library and Information Science, she spent over a decade serving kids, teens, and families as Youth Services Librarian at the Olympia Timberland Library. Sara has particular passions for storytime, teen-led programming, and professional development. Through extensive work with the UW’s VIEWS2 research study and YALSA’S Transforming Teen Services project, she worked to make her own early learning and teen programming more equitable and intentional, and provide training for her peers to do the same. As the Youth Services Consultant for the Washington State Library, she promotes collaboration, innovation, equity, and the constant pursuit of bettering library services for youth.

Panel -The panel are all participants in YALSA’s Transforming Teen Services initiative:

Beth Yates–Children’s Consultant at the Indiana State Library

Christy Franzman–Teen Engagement Coordinator at the Hamilton East Public Library in Indiana

Carrie Sanders–Youth Services Coordinator at the Maryland State Library

Kelsey Hughes–Librarian at the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System in Maryland

Leah Larson–Youth Services Consultant at Minnesota State Library Services

3:00-3:15 – Break

3:15-4:25 – Catch the Programming Wave (with Oceans of Possibilities)!

Description: 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.

Presenters:  Cathy Lancaster and Deborah Dutcher (with support from Adrienne Butler)

Cathy Lancaster is the Youth Services Coordinator at the Library of Michigan.  With over 15 years of public library experience, she coordinates the Ready to Read Michigan initiative, summer reading, and continuing education for youth & teen services staff throughout the state of Michigan.

Deborah Dutcher is the Library Services Consultant at the New Hampshire State Library. She is responsible for state youth and adult library programming, providing librarian professional development and managing many grant programs such as the Summer Learning Grant.

4:25-4:30 – Closing – Luke Kralik

Sessions will be recorded.

Additional Content

The follow session will be pre-recorded and released with alongside the recordings from the Symposium:

Feeding Your Community: Summer Meals at Libraries

Many libraries around the USA participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a USDA nutrition program that provides free prepared food to children ages 0-18 in communities with high levels of need. Libraries and SFSP are a great fit! Libraries are accessible, free, and open to all. Children and teens are always welcome. The library is a stigma-free community center where community members traditionally get things for free. Libraries also gain a lot from participating as SFSP sites. They directly support vulnerable community members and directly address food insecurity. They attract new user groups, and increase their visibility and importance as a stakeholder in community well-being.

In this recorded session, public librarians share how they have built partnerships and creatively implemented SFSP, in conversation with Penny Weaver and Maged Hanafi from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and Janet Ingraham Dwyer from the State Library of Ohio. Learn the basics of SFSP and ideas for how to participate.


Maged Hanafi joined the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Midwest Regional Office (located in Chicago) in November 2007; he is currently a team leader and works predominantly with the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Prior to joining USDA, Maged was the assistant director of food services at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third largest school district in the US serving nearly 400,000 students in more than 650 schools. Maged served for five years as president and member of the State of Illinois Food Distribution Advisory Council. He also served as advisory council board member for the Chicago Stakeholders Collaboration to Improve Student Health, a unique partnership of more than 300 organizations working together to improve student health. Maged graduated from Cairo University, Egypt with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting.

Penny Weaver is a public affairs specialist at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Midwest Regional Office. In her role she needs to know just enough about each of the 15 federal feeding programs to communicate to the media and community partners, but when it comes to the Summer Food Service Program AKA Summer Meals, she knows a lot. In Penny’s first role at FNS, she led the administrative oversight of summer meals programs, conducted reviews at local and state levels, and ran summer meals outreach campaigns. FNS Midwest is happy to partner with the State Library of Ohio and the Collaborative Summer Library Program to help eliminate child hunger while boosting summer library programs.

Janet Ingraham Dwyer is youth services library consultant at the State Library of Ohio. Her job is support, advise, and empower children’s and teen services specialists in public and school libraries around the state. She manages Ohio’s participation in the nationwide Collaborative Summer Library Program and collaborates with the Ohio Library Council on Ohio Ready to Read, a statewide resource network to facilitate early literacy activities in libraries. Janet also champions library involvement in the USDA Summer Food Service Program and other opportunities to meet basic needs otherwise unmet, and encourages library support for child and community well-being. She is devoted to collaboration across libraries, schools, literacy organizations, social service agencies, and other groups and individuals to support youth and families.

Panel of Public Library Staff:

Devon Andrews, Associate Director, Community Engagement, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Linda Bartley, Youth Services Manager, McCracken County Public Library, Paducah, KY
Kay Kay DeRossette, Grants Coordinator, Central Arkansas Library System (Little Rock)
Jasmine Zandi, Be Mighty Specialist, Central Arkansas Library System (Little Rock)
Kate McCartney, Assistant Director, Marysville Public Library, OH


USDA Summer Meals Toolkit

CSLP Libraries and Summer Food how-to guide

State-by-state directory of SFSP Administering Agencies