Statewide Library Programs
Importance of Summer Reading (studies)
Maryland Public Libraries participate in a statewide, annual summer reading program as part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program consortium (CSLP), individualized by county. The primary purpose of the program is to ensure that all Maryland students maintain or improve grade‐level reading proﬁciency during the summer months when school is not in session. Multiple research studies, such as The Dominican Study: Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap (2010) have proven that library programs are an excellent way to achieve this goal.
Maryland Summer Reading Stats
Maryland Public Libraries strive to foster a love of reading and learning for all ages through their summer reading programs. Maryland has seen an increase in youth summer reading participation over the past several years. From 2015 to 2016, the numbers increased from 203,715 to 204,133. While this was a small increase by percentage, many libraries reported an increase in youth that completed their summer reading program activities, rather than registering without thorough participation.
Maryland libraries have also seen an increase in either adults or families participating in summer reading programs. From 2015 to 2016, the numbers increased from 10,737 to 20,808, or 98% growth. This increase in adult summer reading participation may be attributable to appealing programs and/or marketing or they may suggest that adults are reading along with their children as summer reading programs become more of a "family affair."
Summer Reading programs in Maryland
Partnerships with the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Science Center (please link to their websites) enhance the summer reading program, along with other community partners that oﬀer incentives to participants or collaborate in creative summer program oﬀerings in art, STEM, music, and early literacy.
Why it matters
Maryland public libraries are dedicated to helping youth realize their potential roles as creators, rather than mere consumers, of digital content. Maryland State Library believes this will contribute to feelings of personal efficacy as well as opening doors to education and career paths that would otherwise be unattainable. Maryland State Library strives to provide broad and creative access to the tools and emerging technologies available today, so that youth will be prepared for whatever is being created when they are ready to enter the workforce. Program partners include FutureMakers, Workbench.
Statewide Programming Laptops Initiative for Community Education (SPLICE) provided statewide programming laptops to increase STEM learning opportunities for Maryland youth. In 2015, every public library system in Maryland received a set of 10 laptops for youth and family classes and programs. During 2016, SPLICE programs engaged 1,269 participants in 77 public library programs.
The Virtual Reality (VR) Roadshow was launched with the Statewide Programming Laptops Initiative for Community Education (SPLICE) laptops and Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) headsets purchased with a prior LSTA grant. As technology started changing more rapidly, it became clear that both Maryland public library staff and members of the public needed access to products as they entered the market. In order to inspire youth, industry leaders, educators, and others with the potential of a new technology, they must be able to experience it firsthand.
Maryland State Library has partnered with the Workbench to create a digital maker space for Maryland Public Libraries. The platform, “The Make-IT Place,” will be available to anyone via a Maryland public library website. Content on the platform includes step-by- step instructions for a wide variety of STEM, maker, and computer science projects. The instructions can be used by librarians for group programs and by individual learners to use at home. The platform will be used by customers from elementary school through adulthood. Customers and librarians can also add their own content, and comment on their experiences with the various projects in order to help foster a sense of community.
Why it matters
Statewide statistics and reporting tools help Maryland public libraries collect the most accurate data, perform effective data analysis, and use their analysis to tell the story of their libraries to their various stakeholders in a more powerful way.
Maryland State Library, in partnership with the Prince George's County Memorial Library System, kicked off the first phase of a statewide data analytics project in the summer of 2016. Each library system was offered a Tableau Desktop license and the opportunity to participate in a two-day training from Icimo, a data analytics consulting firm. Icimo also worked one-on-one with library systems, starting with an initial cohort of five library systems that use the Polaris ILS. Since the project’s launch, the following Tableau workbooks and customizations have been created:
- Call number circulation statistics
- Collection rebalancing reports
- Custom turnover collection rates
- Historical numbers/longitudinal analyses
- Library-branch service area mapping
- YTD fiscal year transactions
Having workbooks in place that identify top circulation by subject, broken down regionally by each library branch, is an example of how Tableau has already helped library systems make their collections more meaningful to their communities.
In partnership with Datalogics, the Maryland State Library is pleased to announce a partnership that will work to provide all Marylanders with access to digital books from the SimplyE collection, totaling nearly 300, 000 books. Any library card holding Maryland resident will be able to use the system, at no cost. Maryland is one of the first states to work with SimplyE, originally launched by the New York Public Library. This landmark program is still in the early stages of development. Updates will be made available as they come.
Staff Development grants
Maryland State Library invests significant personnel and financial resources to support a strong and innovative Maryland library workforce. Maryland State Library plans and implements continuing education and staff development opportunities ranging from online learning platforms, staff development grants, the Library Associate Training Institute, and the Maryland Library Leadership Institute.