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Summer Reading at New York Libraries
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Summer Reading at New York Libraries

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This year's summer reading activities are designed to be paired with a book on fitness and activity. We suggest The Busy Body Book: A Kids Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell, July 8, 2008.

2016 Summer Reading Guide

About the 4-H STEM NY Library Partnership

Starting in 2012, the NYS SET Program Work Team worked towards developing a relationship between NYS 4-H Youth Development and NYS Public Libraries Summer Reading Program.  The program engages youth in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, and teen leaders. The objectives of the program include: 1) Encourage new linkages or partnerships between local 4-H Programs and libraries and strengthen already existing partnerships;  2) Develop new audiences for both 4-H and Libraries (e.g., 4-H members attend library programs who have not been before, and non-4-H Youth become introduced to 4-H);  3) Youth participants demonstrate increased STEM knowledge and practice skills as well as considering future careers in STEM, ultimately pursuing more 4-H STEM projects throughout the year; 4) Develop a model for a successful local 4-H/Library partnership and comprehensive training and promotion using workshops, the web, and national 4-H Curriculum Directory.

Exciting outcomes

It was reported that library staff saw an increased interest in theme-related science books and observed a level of scientific discussion and debate generated by the activities. What people said about the program:

  • After a program about fossils, a mother approached the librarian and said that her son came home from that program and announced that it was ‘the happiest day’ of his life!  The boy, along with all of the participants, had received two real fossils and he really loved them!  He had already decided, at age 9, that he was going to be a ‘fossil scientist’ when he grew up.
  • Another librarian applauded new patrons’ exposure to the library through the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H/Library collaborative program “Kids in the Garden.”  Some of the educators from Cornell Cooperative Extension live locally, but had never been to the local library previously.  The library partnered with a garden center, a hardware store, and a local farm to get dirt, plants, and advice.  When the employees delivered the plants, they were thrilled to see the library’s CD collection.
  •  Other business and 4-H employees signed their children up for the library programs for the first time when they saw what the library had to offer.  The businesses will partner with the library on the summer program again next year. 
  • One participant in the program (who previously had to be ‘dragged’ to the library while his sister picked out books) enjoyed the digging activities and then finding books about really disgusting bugs.
  • Many librarians indicated an increased comfort level with leading science activities and ability to help students discover the answers through observation and research. 
  • Librarians also indicated they would be more likely to contact their local 4-H Staff and recognize the benefits of partnering with 4-H.  They said they were more likely to involve 4-H volunteers and teens in their programs. 
  • The NYS STEM Library Partnership Coordinator was asked to present New York’s Partnership on a Nationwide Webinar held by Institute of Library and Museum Services (ILMS), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA),  As a result of that webinar, the NYS STEM Summer Reading Tool Kits have been shared with at least 20 Library and 4-H Staff across the U.S. 

Previous Years' Projects