Great Partners for 2016

Summer Reading at New York Libraries partnerships bring resources to all public libraries and families.


National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides freely available resources on a variety of topics related to health and wellness for Public Libraries to use in their communities.  Resources include webinars, articles, and useful links.  Topics include K-12 health resources, Teen health and wellness resources, and a consumer health toolkit for library staff. Some of the resources are available in both Spanish and English.


New York Council for the Humanities

Through the Communities Conversations program, The New York Council for the Humanities provides libraries, public schools, and other tax-exempt organizations with the resources and training to bring together locals of all ages to engage in thoughtful dialogue over central themes in American life. “Do-it-yourself” toolkits, available for free when you apply on our website, contain everything necessary to lead a conversation including discussion questions and tips for building and sustaining inclusive communities.

This year’s themes include:

Each series has age-appropriate materials designed for children, young adults, and adults.

Hosts select their own facilitators and may include librarians or educators. The facilitator introduces thought-provoking questions and encourages each and all to participate by reflecting on the issues presented in the reading and their impact on our communities. Facilitation training is offered for free by the New York Council for the Humanities and is done through short, easy-to-access webinars: all you need is a phone and computer with Internet access.

This summer apply to host a Community Conversation! To find answers to common questions about hosting a Community Conversation click here.  To learn more about the Council’s other programs and grant opportunities, such as their Adult Reading and Discussion series, visit their website:


The New York State Reading Association (NYSRA) has a little more than 1,300 members that support public libraries in many ways, including promoting participation in Summer Reading at New York Libraries. The Board of the NYSRA encourages local councils to connect with their individual public libraries. NYSRA welcomes classroom teachers, librarians, reading specialists, parents, college educators, and researchers to join as members of our organization. To find out more information about visit the NYSRA web site.



4-H Youth Development assists young people in reaching their fullest potential, and as such, provides an ideal partnership for NYS Libraries and the Summer Reading Program.

For 2016: While Federal Funding that was in place for 2013-15 has ended, the New York State 4-H program are still offering new units and lessons that tie in with public library summer reading programs and can be carried out with support from the local 4-H youth Services program. They were developed with 4-H’s non-formal, fun, and active approach to science, and are designed for “non-scientists” to lead.

The program developed for 2016 theme “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read” is Keep A Body Busy With 4-H” and includes the Story “The Busy Body Book: A Kids Guide to Fitness” by Lizzy Rockwell. While this book is being offered to library systems across the state, any fitness related book would work with the activities being offered. The Partnering with 4-H Manual is now available.

Libraries can partner with their local Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Program to present any of the lessons being offered. Local contact information is in Appendix A.

For more information or for assistance in developing partnerships, contact NYS 4-H Library Partnership Coordinator Bonnie S. Peck, 4-H Youth Development Educator, at

4-H Resources

  • New York State 4-H Homepage  Resources for youth ranging from science, engineering and technology, to healthy lifestyles, and youth community action can be found right on the homepage. Additional 4-H materials for staff, leaders, volunteers, teachers and youth, and many other resources can be found at the National Directory of 4-H Materials
  • Local 4-H Public Presentations 4-H provides youth with opportunities to perfect their public speaking skills. Many strong public speakers cite their 4-H experiences as pivotal for their comfort in delivering outstanding public presentations. Libraries can connect with their local 4-H to host presentations for young public speakers from their own community. Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn more.
  • Local 4-H Activities for children and teens are provided through the local Cornell Cooperative Extension and include youth workshops, conferences, contests, state and county fairs, 4-H camps, trips and tours, teen groups and scholarship offerings in your area.
  • National 4-H Conference Libraries have great resources to support teens, age 15 and up, who are interested in applying for the National 4-H conference. Libraries can provide instruction for teens to improve their writing and research skills, such as how to use proper citations, what constitutes a quality research source, and how to do a targeted online search. Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension to learn how your library can partner to assist in gaining these skills.



Connecting Kids and Teens with Nutrition Over the Summer
While more than 1.1 million K-12 low-income students statewide eat a healthy school lunch on an average school day to fuel learning, less than one-third of them have access to summer nutrition. In many upstate communities, far fewer youth have access to healthy summer meals. The good news is that an increasing number of partners, including libraries, are working together to ensure kids have access to healthy food year- round. As trusted and valued community spaces in the heart of many neighborhoods, libraries are finding that offering spaces to serve food to hungry children makes good sense for their summer programming while aligning with their mission. In 2016, 93 libraries served summer meals, up from 36 libraries in 2013.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program that enables qualified organizations – including public libraries – to serve free meals to kids and teens in low-income areas. The SFSP is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the New York State Education Department.
There are a variety of meaningful ways your library could be part of this essential and underused child nutrition program, including:

  • Providing information about where summer meals are located
  • Offering space on your library’s property to sponsors
  • Serving snacks or meals to enrich your own programming

Take a look at the To Be Well Read… You Must Be Well Fed fact sheet and the Summer Reading Summer Eating fact sheet for details and helpful outreach web links.

Also available for 2016 are new Summer Meal Promotional fliers (Word Doc) published in part by the New York State Education Department. Fliers are available in English and Spanish.

Could Your Library’s Young Readers Benefit from Summer Meals? Here are Some Tips to Get Started:

  1. Determine your community’s need and if your public library is in an eligible area for this program. Your library should be in a designated “high-need” area. This means that a majority of kids in your surrounding area would qualify for free or reduced-priced school meals. To see if your branch location is eligible, use this Summer Food Mapper. To compare your location with other community partners and last year’s summer meals locations, use the layering tools within the USDA’s Capacity Builder Mapper.
  2. Partner with an organization in your area that is already involved. Many schools, food banks, and other community groups may already be serving summer meals to kids in your area. You can partner with an organization to coordinate enrichment activities at existing locations and/or they may prepare and deliver meals to your library. Hear from other libraries in NYS that have added summer meals to their programming and check the Sponsor Directory of Summer Food Service Program sponsors (PDF) for a short intro to the program and a contact list for all summer food sponsors in New York State.
  3. Add a Summer Meals button to your website.
  4. Embed one of these colorful buttons, linked to, on your organization’s website year- round to let community groups know they can add value to their summer program with summer meals., Embed another button during the summer months to help families find summer meals locations nearest them. For details, visit Summer Meals Button Graphics.






Find Summer Meals

  1. Learn new ways to help alleviate hunger in your community. To connect with libraries already involved, and for more information about promoting or adding summer meals to your summer enrichment programs contact: Misha Marvel, MSW, Child Nutrition Program Specialist, Hunger Solutions New York (518) 436-8757 x120 or




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