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Summer Reading Program: Home

The Alaska State Library sponsors a statewide summer reading program by providing a basic starter kit of materials and a summer reading program manual to each library participating in the statewide program.

About the Program

Summer Reading Programs Reduce Summer Learning Loss

Each summer, public libraries in Alaska host summer reading programs designed to promote, encourage and support reading. These programs help to mitigate the phenomenon known as the "summer slide" or summer learning loss.

Starter Kits for Libraries

The Alaska State Library sponsors a statewide summer reading program by providing an iRead summer reading resource guide and purchase codes for summer reading materials to each library participating in the statewide program. At the conclusion of the summer reading program, participating libraries complete and submit a summer reading program report and evaluation. The information from evaluations helps the Alaska State Library meet federal grant requirements. 

2024 Summer Reading Program Registration 

Register for the 2024 Summer Reading Program through November 6, 2023. Contact Valarie Kingsland for more information.

Slogan & Themes

  • 2024: Read, Renew, Repeat
  • 2025: Level Up at Your Library

How to Design Your Own Summer Reading Program 

1. Decide how to track individual reading.

Will you have readers use a reading log? Will the log track hours, minutes, books, or pages read? 

2. Develop reading logs

Here are some Canva templates for reading logs. Be sure to create your own free Canva account and make a copy of the template. Contact Jamie Thill at for a quick Canva training. 

3. Prizes and Incentives 

  • Books make great summer reading prizes. Be sure to offer a wide selection of books for various reading levels and topics of interest. 
  • Design a special library card for participants of the Summer Reading Program.
  • Create a personalized bookplate for each participant who finishes the program. Allow children to choose a new book to put their bookplates in. 
  • Hand out starter seeds and grow kits
  • Create vouchers for special experiences like lunch with the mayor or library director 

4. Develop fun ways to track community reading

  • Designate three areas in the library. This could be a wall or window. Label one area 0-5 books, another 5-10 books, and the last area 10+ books. Cut out fun shapes that fit your summer reading theme. For example, this year's iRead theme is Find Your Voice. Cut out 3X3 inch musical notes, microphones, megaphones, and other shapes. Have each participant write their name in one shape and place it in the beginning area. Allow them to move their shape as they progress through the program.  

5. Promoting the Summer Reading Program

Here are some ideas for promoting your summer reading program:

  • Flyers on your website, social media, and newsletter
  • End-of-year school visits. See if your schools have end-of-year events that you can pop by and share information about summer reading.  
  • Community partner visits such as early childhood education centers, afterschool programs, churches, community centers, HOA clubhouses, and businesses. Ask to stop by any events where you can speak with teachers, caregivers, and any children served. 
  • Local radio station or television announcements

6. Summer Reading Kick-Off

Here are some ideas for hosting a Summer Reading Kick-Off event:

  • Make your event carnival themed. You can provide fun games, music, and face painting. Be sure to invite your community partners. Ask your community partners to bring 2 staff members. One person can share their community resources with families and the other can lead a game or craft. 

7. Ongoing Programming Ideas for SRP

Don't be afraid to tap into your volunteer community. Design programs based on the skills of your volunteers. Here are some other ideas:

  • Musicians in the library or on the lawn
  • A local magician
  • A read-to-a-dog program
  • An animal visit
  • STEM programming
  • Lego Club
  • A large scale teen program created for teens by teens

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Learn more about SFSP

  • Alaska Libraries are partnering with this federally funded program to improve services for underserved children and low-income families.
  • SFSP provides free, nutritious meals to children age 18 or younger living in low-income areas or pockets of poverty when school is out.


Programming & Advocacy Resources

Additional Resources

  • iREAD Reading Program
  • Project Outcome

    The Project Outcome toolkit provides libraries with FREE access to quick and simple patron surveys, an easy-to-use Survey Portal to collect their outcomes, ready-made reports and visually interactive Data Dashboards for analyzing the data, and various resources to help move libraries from implementing surveys to taking action using the results.

  • Bedtime Math

    Fun activities designed to get children fired up about math.

  • Lunar and Planetary Institute: Family Space Days

    Activities that are out of this world!

  • National Summer Learning Association

    National non-profit organization focused on closing the achievement gap by investing in summer learning.

  • Read Aloud 15 Minutes

    Encourages parents to read aloud to their children for 15 minutes every day.

  • Youth Programming Goes Virtual-Storytimes, Crafts, Teen Activities and More

    A list of resources and examples for virtual youth programming from public libraries compiled by Erica Melko for WebJunction.

  • STARnet

    The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) provides interactive STEM exhibits, programming, and training to public libraries nationwide through its Science‐Technology Activities and Resources Library Network (STAR Net)


This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.