Summer Reading Program

Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Specialist for Lifelong Learning,, 609-278-2640 ext. 116

Statewide Summer Reading Program

2019 Summer Reading Program Statistics:

Total participants – all ages146,358
Number of participants that achieved their goal –  all ages 95,151
Total programs  – all ages  37,820
Total program attendance – all ages 795,685

(All ages = children, teens, adults).

This year NJ was one of eight other states that asked the same survey questions as part of a pilot project. This was done to develop a level of consistency in the questions across all the states. The number of books read was not asked. Individual libraries determined the goal for their participants (e.g. registration, completion of a reading log, meeting the reading goal by reading a certain number of minutes, hours, days, etc.)

2020 Summer Reading Slogan for all ages is “Imagine Your Story” to tie into the fairytale/ folktale/fantasy/mythology theme.

Artwork by illustrator LeUyen Pham

The illustrator for all ages of the 2020 program is LeUyen Pham. She has illustrated more than 50 books, including Best Friends and Real Friends and the Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale; the Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look; Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio; Girl of Mine, Whose Toes Are These?, and Whose Knees Are These? by Jabari Asim; Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris; The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman and many others.

Virtual Summer Reading Workshop Link from March 13, 2020

If you were not able to attend an in-person Summer Reading Workshop in March presented by the NJ Summer Reading Committee, here’s a link to the recording of the virtual workshop held on March 13, 2020.

READsquared Summer Reading Program Online Software

The NJ State Library is offering READsquared online reading program software for free to NJ public libraries for a two-year contract.

It offers customization and configuration of CSLP-themed summer reading programs and other reading and learning programs, as well as readers’ advisory tools for all ages and all reading levels.

You can register your library for the READsquared portal.

Once READsquared receives your sign-up request, your library’s customized READsquared site will be configured within 48-72 hours. When your site is ready, you will receive an email with administrative access information from READsquared.

Online trainings on how to set up and customize your library’s program have already been held but here’s a link to an archived recording.

Library staff can also find a shorter prerecorded training in their admin control room under Help > Help Materials.

Information about READsquared and READsquared Data Security and Privacy [.PDF , 98k]

2021 Theme is Animals

Slogan:Tails and Tales

Artist/Illustrator is Salina Yoon


2022 Theme is Oceanography 

Slogan: TBA

Artist/Illustrator is Sophie Blackall


2023 Theme: TBA

Slogan: All Together Now

Artist/illustrator is Frank Morrison



New Jersey is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).  All fifty states, including the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, the Federated Islands of Micronesia, Guam, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands are members of CSLP.  The CSLP website allows staff from all New Jersey public libraries to access the special features,  online order form and other materials on the site, but to access them, you must register first. Any public library staff member is eligible to use the registration system to access the resources found on this members-only website.

The New Jersey Summer Reading Program, coordinated by the New Jersey Statewide Summer Reading Committee through the NJ Library Association, with funding from the New Jersey State Library, encourages everyone of all ages to read for fun during the summer.  The NJ Summer Reading Program website maintains a directory of performers; programming ideas for children, teens and adults; information about discounts for summer reading prizes; registration information for summer reading workshops; and a survey link for statistics from your program. The website is restricted to NJ public librarians or staff and you must first register to access the website. However, there are resources under the Educators Tab that can be accessed without having to register to access the website.

The NJ Summer Reading Program is also on  Facebook.


Manual, Incentives, Clip Art, Reproducible Forms

All public libraries are given one password for their library building to share to access the online manuals for early literacy, children, teens and adults. All public libraries will only get online access to all of the manuals in 2020. They also receive an incentives catalog with an order form for summer reading materials from the CSLP. Public libraries participating in the Summer Reading Program will receive a children’s banner, a children’s, teen, and adult poster and children’s, teen, and adult bookmarks for free courtesy of the NJ Summer Reading Program. These will be shipped to them in the spring of 2020.

Clip art is available in color and black and white and included in the online manual. Clip art is also available in the manual in black and white for photocopying. There are also reproducible forms and handouts included on the online manual.

You can also create your own supplementary materials if you prefer and adapt the program to your community’s needs by using the materials, clip art, and digital art that come with the online manuals. There are rules for use of the artwork, so please respect these and general copyright laws.

Other Downloadable Materials

You can also find downloadable children’s signing videos, slogans in Spanish and PSAs for the summer reading programs on the Downloads page of the CSLP website.


If you participate in the summer reading program, the New Jersey Statewide Summer Reading Committee would like to have some feedback. A link to a survey will be posted on the NJ Summer Reading website by August 15th. Be sure that you keep statistics of the number of participants, programs offered and the attendance, and number of books read during the summer reading program so that you will be prepared to report back. This report will be due in October of each year.

Advocating for the Summer Reading Program

You may also want to check these resources if you want to explain why your summer reading program needs community financial support: CSLP’s Summer Reading Research Page.

Promoting Your Program

To hear and download radio public service announcements for the current year’s summer reading programs for children and teens, visit the CSLP web page, where these are posted in the spring for easy downloading. (If your community doesn’t have a local radio station, perhaps your school would play them on the morning announcements).

Also available at this site are video spots and tips about how to use these announcements to promote your library’s programs. If you have a library website, you might want to run these on your web page. Other tips for publicizing your summer reading program for maximum participation are available in this years manual.

For More Information

Questions should be addressed to the NJ Summer Reading Program Co-Chairs Natalie Cheetham or Liz Hoens at or the Project Coordinator/State Representative, Sharon Rawlins,