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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

In recent years, more and more libraries have shifted their focus from traditional summer reading programs to summer learning programs in order to help youth develop the twenty-first-century skills needed to succeed in their life and careers. Whether you’ve just started transitioning from summer reading to summer learning, or have already completed it, this guide will help you think through the nuts and bolts of designing, implementing, and improving your summer learning program to ensure success. From planning & budgeting to community engagement and program examples, you won’t end up short on ideas for your teen summer learning program.


1) Planning & Budgeting
Jennifer Velásquez

2) Community Engagement
Julie Stivers

3) Marketing & Promotion
Sarah Amazing

4) Evaluation
Mark Flowers

5) Program Examples

A. Adopting a Summer Learning Approach for Increased Impact: a YALSA Position Paper
B. The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: Executive Summary
C. Teens First: Basic Learning Outcomes Guide
D. Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff
E. Teen Programming Guidelines

Lenese Colson

Dr. Lenese Colson is a former teen librarian who, in addition to successfully leading summer reading programs, also has experience with the national summer learning program, Upward Bound. During her time as an AmeriCorps member and Academic Coach with the Play It Smart program had even more involvement working with and teaching underserved youth. She received a Ph.D. in Information and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Florida State University, an M.A.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a B.S. in Computer Science from Norfolk State University.

Jennifer Luetkemeyer

Jennifer Luetkemeyer is an Assistant Professor of Library Science at Appalachian State University. Before earning her Ph.D., she worked as a classroom teacher, and then as a media specialist, in a junior high school for seven years. Jennifer has organized and facilitated a workshop on Summer Learning and has presented a webinar on the subject as well. She was invited in 2015 to present a workshop on public-school library partnerships. Since 2015, Jennifer has coauthored the YALSA Teen Literacies Tookit, and three published papers. She has also presented at several conferences and volunteers her time at a local school library.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens.