2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries Reaches 1.7 Million

The 2012 Public Library Program Reaches Increasing Numbers of Young People with Fun Activities to Encourage a Summer of Reading Pleasures


October 23, 2012 – New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard A. Margolis announced today that 1.74 million children and teens throughout New York State participated in “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” at their local libraries. The 2012 program saw a 5% increase over 2011. Kids are reading for fun during the summer months and that summer reading is associated with academic success.

“Public libraries, through their summer reading programs, put books in the hands of children. Access to books and library programs over the summer results in more reading which, in turn, results in improved reading skills,” according to Bernie Margolis.

Research has shown that children who continue to read during the summer vacation perform better in the fall when school resumes, and that reading for simple summer enjoyment helps children with literacy skills, while helping prevent learning losses.

“Statistics point to the disappointing loss of learning that takes place when young people are not in school during the summer,” said Commissioner of the New York State Education Department John B. King, Jr. “The effects of summer learning loss are especially dramatic for students from high-needs communities. By providing summer reading programs, the State Library and public libraries throughout the State can provide young people and their parents with the tools necessary to ensure year-long learning success and cultivate a love of reading.”

For more information on the positive value of public library summer reading programs see “The Importance of Summer Reading: Public Library Summer Reading Programs and Learning” (http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/research.htm).

“Summer Reading at New York Libraries” Coordinator Karen Balsen points out that it is the hard work and creativity of library systems and libraries that made “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” a continued success in 2012. New York’s public library system youth and teen services consultants offered training and technical support. School libraries partnered with public libraries to promote summer reading; public library staff and volunteers provided the programming and resources that made kids want to join the fun.


This year most public library systems reported an increase in participation levels over 2011. Of those, four reported increases of 15% or higher.  Congratulations to these *Stars* and to all the systems for a wonderful 2012 “Summer Reading at New York Libraries.”




*  Monroe County Library System *

*  North Country Library System*

*  Pioneer Library System*

*  Queens Library *

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New York State Library

Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded in part through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.