Two-time Newbery Medalist, former U.S. Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and bestselling author Kate DiCamillo has another title to add to her growing list of accomplishments. She is the 2016 National Summer Reading Champion for the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) for the second year in a row.
“I know this sounds kind of funny,” says DiCamillo, “but I feel like I was born to be the CSLP Summer Reading Champion. The library was such a magical place for me as a kid—a place of possibility, safety, and promise. And my being a Summer Reading Champion is all about hoping that kids and their families will get the chance to feel the same way about their own local library. Kids and libraries belong together all year long, but the summer is particularly special—a time of freedom and fun in reading. And freedom is how lifelong readers are made.”
CSLP is a nonprofit consortium of state libraries that work together to provide an annual unified summer reading theme and professionally created, evidence-based materials for member libraries to enable them to provide high-quality summer reading programs to their communities at the lowest possible cost. They reach approximately 15,000 member libraries nationwide, representing all fifty states.
The 2016 theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set . . . Read!” CSLP has created a comprehensive array of resources for libraries to use in their summer reading programs, including program ideas, booklists, posters, clip art, and activities for four age groups, from babies to adults. All materials are available in English and Spanish. DiCamillo has provided a top ten list of reasons to join a library summer reading program and will also create a list of her favorite recommended summer reads for 2016.
“We think the 2016 theme is perfect for an Olympic summer and have created a host of materials that are easily adaptable to any community,” says CSLP board chair and Mississippi Library Commission’s Senior Library Consultant Mac Buntin. “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Kate DiCamillo as our Champion. Her passion for summer reading and love of libraries—and librarians—is inspiring and infectious.”
As a fan of DiCamillo, including her newest Raymie Nightingale, we are so happy to see her promoting not only summer reading, but book and library love in general.