Summer Reading Logo

There are many children and teens that do not participate in summer library programs because they are not aware of the opportunity or because they are not able to get to the library during the summer. This program allows librarians to reach out to kids in the community where they already are, and encourage them to continue reading over the summer months

Application open Dec 1 - May 1

Bright Futures: Outreach for Underserved Children is an opt-in program.

(for outreach events offered June 1 – July 31)

Deadline to apply is May 1st.

Questions? Email Kristina Taylor

Children will maintain their reading achievement skills over the summer with support from Idaho libraries.

Children will read a minimum of 10 hours or read a minimum of 10 books during their summer break.*

*Read= reading independently and/or being read to (read alouds, audiobooks, online books)
  • Public library staff engage underserved* children through outreach** activities that occur in the community.
  • Public library staff communicate the importance of maintaining a consistent reading routine over the summer months.

*”Underserved” definition for purpose of this program = Children/families living in poverty, English language learners, children reading below grade-level, children living in rural areas, or children unable to use the library, such as those in childcare or those who do not have transportation to the library.

**”Outreach” definition for purpose of this program = Efforts by library staff to reach children and families where they are. (This can look different from one community to the next. If you are unsure of your proposed activity will be considered “outreach” for this program, please contact Kristina Taylor.)


  • Requested paperback books will be sent the participating library as close as possible to the request date listed on the application.
  • Books will also come with “Summer Reading” bookmarks.
  • Optional family handouts that pertain to this program can be found under the “Program Resources” tab found on this page.


  • Offer at least one outreach event, designed to reach undeserved children*, outside of the library in June or July – we want  you to reach the children as early in the summer as possible. Outreach event should emphasize the importance of maintaining a reading routine over the summer months, encourage participation in the regular summer reading program and distribute books to underserved children. Offering a storytime or another library program element is highly encouraged.
  • Partner with one or more agencies or organizations in your community to implement your outreach event/s.
  • Receive and distribute paperback books from ICfL suitable for audience to be given away to children birth through teens attending the off-site program.  You’ll also receive summer reading bookmarks containing information about why kids should keep reading over the summer.
  • Track the number of children who attend your outreach event/s and submit this information on your annual Summer Reading Report. To help you track statistics consider using this DATA TRACKING SHEET.
  • Track the number of children, participating in your regular, in-house summer reading program, who read a minimum of 10 books or 10 hours over the summer. Submit this information on your annual Summer Reading Report. To help you track statistics consider using this DATA TRACKING SHEET.
  • Formally evaluate your regular summer reading program. Evaluation rationale, sample surveys and more evaluation info can be found at Evaluating your Summer Reading Program.
  • Summer Reading Data Tracking Sheet
  • Family Outreach Summer Reading Talking Points
  • List of Discounted Book Sources
  • Summer Reading Resources web page
  • Library Card Sign-Up Tracking Tips:
    • Copy your current library card application onto a different colored paper than your library typically uses for card sign-up promotion. When new library applications are submitted to the library over the next few weeks, it will be easy to tell which new sign-ups resulted from your outreach event.
    • Similarly, place a special logo or image in the corner of your library card application and you will be able to credit new sign-ups to your outreach event.
    • Offer participants at your library outreach event a specially-designed coupon for a “free book” upon signing up for a library card, visiting your library, or checking out library books. Ask front desk staff to mark and save these event coupons for a period of time and tally them up.
Please Note

Applications will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis and priority will be given to libraries who will track the number of children (birth to 18) who read a minimum of 10 books or 10 hours. See more information about this component. 

Little Libraries

Due to the popularity of several of our outreach programs and the increased demand for paperback books in support of these programs, we are unable to support a “Little Libraries” model.  For those libraries or communities seeking additional sources of free or discounted paperback books, we have compiled a vetted list of potential sources for you to explore. Check it out: “Sources of Free/Discounted Books

For more information, contact Kristina.

Kristina Tayloer

Kristina Taylor

Project Coordinator
Email / 208.639.4136
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Institute of Museum and Library Services logoThis program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.