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MLS Summer Library Program

2021 Statistics

Because this will prove to be an unusual summer (once again) for most public libraries, here is a preview of the questions we will ask at the end of the summer as part of our annual collection of data for the Statewide Summer Library Program.

First you will be asked if you ran a summer program or not. We are trying to measure how many libraries did not run a program because of COVID-19. You will be given a choice for the main reason you did not run a program. Please select the main COVID-19 related reason your library did not hold a 2021 summer program including staff layoffs or furloughs, not enough funding, too uncertain to plan effectively, space concerns, or another reason not listed. You will then be asked for your contact information.

To receive a voucher for 2022 materials, you must submit 2021 statistics. You may submit 0 where applicable.

Definitions and Clarifications

Intended audience: Sometimes you will have a mix of ages or you won’t know because your program was virtual. In these cases, go with the intended audience of the program.

Young Children: Birth – 5 years old (New this year)

School Children: Ages 6-11 (New this year)

Teen: Ages 12-18

Adult: Ages 19 and over

General Audience: (new this year) all ages/multigenerational

Registration: This is how many people registered for your Summer Library Program (or showed in some way that they intended to participate in your summer program). You may count registrations in whatever way works best for you. For example, if you gave away 100 reading logs you can count that as 100.

Program: A program is an event that has some interaction with library staff. It can be in-person or virtual.

Activity: An activity is also known as a “passive-program”. This includes activities that did not have real-time interaction with library staff. For example, Take & Make kits. Short recorded videos, such as a recording of a how-to video, would be counted as an activity.

Virtual attendance: will be measured by device. For instance, if you run a live stream program and your report tells you 10 people logged in, count it as 10, even if on screen you see more than 10 people. This will also be how you report numbers for recorded activities. You can still track individuals on-screen for your own records.


You will be asked for the number of people by age group (Children (0-11), Teen (12-18), Adult (19+) that registered online and/or on “paper”. You will also be asked which online tool was used: Wandoo, Beanstack, Read Squared, Google form, other.


In-person Programs

You will be asked how many in-person (performance and/or library-hosted) programs you had by age group: Young Children (0-5), School Children (6-11), Teen (12-18), Adult (19+), and general audience (all ages).

In-person Attendance

You will submit the total attendance for the programs listed above. You will be asked for numbers for each age group.

Virtual Programs

​You will be asked how many virtual (live streaming) programs you had by age group: Young Children (0-5), School Children (6-11), Teen (12-18), Adult (19+), and general audience (all ages).

Virtual or Online Programs Attendance

You will submit the total number of devices that viewed the virtual programs listed above. You should only count live views. You do not need to know the ages of participants. 

Activities (Passive Programs)

You will be asked how many activities (passive programs) you had over the summer. Only submit activities for which you can also submit attendance numbers.

Activity Participation

You will submit the total number of people who participated in the activities listed above. You do not need to know the ages of participants. 

When in doubt, just make it count! Put it in the category you think best fits, better to do that than leave it out. And we always encourage you to record any other data you think is important for your library and stakeholders to know about, including outcome and impact information.

Feedback Survey Questions

At the end of the stats survey you will be directed to a feedback survey which will ask the following questions:

If you used the CSLP slogan, "Tails and Tales"; manual; artwork; materials please share your feedback here.

If you used a different theme, slogan, or materials for your summer program, what did you use and why?

Please share your feedback regarding the Bruins Foundation partnership, especially if you ordered Bruins certificates, posters, and/or received a Bruins raffle prize.

Please share any other comments you have about the statewide summer library program (The Mrs. Baker and Blades Summer Reading Challenge, WMLA incentives, MLS Summer Program website, Project Bread partnership, etc.)

Please describe something exciting, funny, touching, or special that happened at your library during your Summer Library Program!

How did your summer program change because of the effects of COVID-19? Do you have any tips or program ideas to share with other libraries? If you did not run a program because of the impact of COVID-19 please indicate that here.

Are there any improvements you'd like to suggest? What's missing from your program to make it a success? How can MLS help?

If you evaluate your summer library program, please tell us how: (multiple choice)

Does your library provide free meals or snacks for your community on a regular basis during the summer? (multiple choice)


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I order summer paper/promotional materials?
Beginning in summer 2020, libraries will receive a voucher to order materials when they submit their statistics to MLS.

What materials do I get with the voucher?
You may order any materials from the catalog of the chosen vendor for the statewide summer program. Anything over your voucher amount will need to be paid by your library.

Do I need to pay for shipping?
You may use your voucher to cover shipping costs.

What kind of statistics do you need at the end of the summer?
If you are the designated summer contact for your library you will be emailed a link to an online statistics and feedback form near the end of summer. On this form you will provide your summer program statistics and provide contact information so you can receive a voucher to order materials for the following summer.

The questions we ask are included at the top of this page.

All libraries that participate in the statewide summer program are REQUIRED to submit stats to MLS.

What if I am at a branch library?
You will need to bundle your stats and order with the main branch. We also ask for one summer library program contact person who will be responsible for disseminating summer information and materials amongst all branches.

Artwork, Copyright & Credit Lines:

Do we really have to follow the CSLP Rules of Use?
Yes! Due to copyright and contractual arrangements between CSLP, the exclusive vendor, and the artists, CSLP members are expected to be aware of the rules of use. The best practice is to check the CSLP Rules of Use and check for changes and updates.

I need to do my publicity brochures! Where is the clip art?
Clip art images are in the manual. There is clip art with the copyright embedded for online use and we encourage you to use those images for posting to social media and for use on your website. 

Is it OK to edit/alter the CSLP artwork—such as changing the colors or adding color to the line art or Photoshopping a piece of art to remove part of it or to add a new element to it?
No, it is not acceptable to alter (other than resizing) the CSLP artwork. The Rules of Use say you may not alter/manipulate CSLP artwork in any manner that changes its original appearance.

Is there a credit line we need to use on our publicity materials recognizing the Massachusetts Library System and other organizations? 
We have the wording for the credit lines on the Summer Library Program Guide.

Do I have to credit the Bruins?
Yes, you do have to credit our statewide sponsor, the Boston Bruins. The Bruins pay for promotional materials, provide prizes awarded statewide, offer incentives and programs for participating libraries, and promote the statewide summer library program. Without their support, MLS would not be able to provide program basics at no cost to libraries. Our partnership with the Bruins has also elevated our program’s visibility throughout the state and beyond.

If we just use the slogan, but none of graphics, do we still need to add the credit line?
Yes. MLS has paid for your membership to CSLP, which in turn created the program and theme for you to use. 

If your question hasn’t been answered here, please check out the rest of the Summer Library Program Guide! If you can’t find the answer there, then email April Mazza, MLS Consultant and CSLP State Representative.