Massachusetts Libraries reached for the stars during the 2019 statewide Summer Library Program, “A Universe of Stories”! An out of this world number of 524,032 people attended over 21,650 programs for all ages at public libraries across the Commonwealth. This summer also launched over 132,000 participants from preschool to adult to participate in their Summer Library Program, 38,245 of those registering online. These numbers represent skyrocketing increases over 2018 for registration, programming, and attendance! Interactive Infographic
Participating libraries had a blast with the 2019 theme of space, finding it adaptable and appealing for a wide variety of ages. Libraries across Massachusetts were over the moon about the bookmarks, posters, and manuals they received as part of the statewide program. Many reported that they loved the connection with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and found the artwork to be especially engaging and inclusive. Dozens of libraries across the state were visited by a traveling extraterrestrial puppet and they sent in over 200 photos to the Massachusetts Library System’s Summer Facebook page showcasing the alien’s antics at each library. You can view the photos at https://www.facebook.com/MASummerReading
MLS and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) work together each summer to bring the beloved Boston Bruins partnership to libraries. Blades the Bear visited 14 libraries for special events and when Blades visits a library, program attendance consistently goes up! Thanks to the Bruins support, poster costs were covered for all programs for all libraries, and participants had the opportunity to win prizes provided by the Boston Bruins. Many libraries expressed their gratitude to the Western MA Library Advocates (WMLA) for their continued coordination of incentives from the Big E, Yankee Candle, The Eric Carle Museum, and Friendly’s Restaurants. Through the MBLC partnership with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, libraries in Massachusetts and across the nation could also order gorgeous moon landing themed posters and had access to interactive resources that helped highlight JFK’s role in making the moon landing a reality. As one librarian shared, “The WMLA incentives and JFK Museum posters were fantastic! Kids and teens were excited to get the prizes, and the JFK posters were a great addition to the decor in the YA Room and book displays for the anniversary of the moon landing.”
MLS and Massachusetts libraries are already planning for “Imagine Your Story,” the summer 2020 slogan inspired by fairy tales, mythology, and fantasy. Partnerships will include the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the National Storytelling Network.