From the Desk of Bernard A. Margolis, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries

Build a Better World through Summer Reading at New York Libraries

The weather may be cold outside, but here at the State Library we are already thinking about the summer months and planning for 2017 Summer Reading at New York Libraries with the theme of “Build a Better World.”

Let’s Build a Better World!

Think of all the great 2017 Summer Reading programs your public library can offer using the adaptable and broad slogan of “Build a Better World.” Children and teens might come to the library to explore STEM and STEAM activities to help them improve their school or local community. They might research and then implement ways to make the world around them a better place. Your library might help kids and teens work on personal improvement or skill building through a wide variety of activities or events. Kids, teens, and families might discover a new subject or interest by attending a program. Libraries can also loan out museum and state park passes to give families the opportunity to interact with nature and the outdoors, or to visit an exhibit that might not be available to them otherwise. All of these activities support the shared goal of fostering a love of reading and creating lifelong learners and a strong community. And remember, you and your library staff have easy access to a wide range of programming ideas and downloadable promotional materials on the Summer Reading at New York Libraries website that will make 2017 your library’s best summer ever:
The possibilities are truly endless for an especially exciting season of Summer Reading at New York Libraries in 2017!

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Summer 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the statewide Summer Reading program in New York State. Let’s plan some special celebrations to commemorate this milestone! State Library staff is working with the 23 public library systems to develop new partnerships and collaborative efforts to further support local public libraries. For fun, an online exhibit will showcase previous years’ Summer Reading posters and programs. Let us know your ideas for celebrating 25 years of Summer Reading!

Building a Better World Together – A New Goal for 2018!

During 2016, more than 2.1 million young people participated in Summer Reading at our 756 public libraries and 1,000 plus library buildings. As a former reading teacher, State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia is an enthusiastic supporter of libraries and reading. She recently set a challenging new 2018 goal of 2.5 million participants!

The support and enthusiasm of library trustees is critical to the continued success and future growth of Summer Reading at New York Libraries. Together we can make a difference and “Build a Better World” for all families and communities in New York State through our wonderful public libraries.

If you have any ideas, improvement suggestions or questions about Summer Reading at New York Libraries, I encourage you to contact Sharon Phillips, Summer Reading Program Coordinator, Division of Library Development, New York State Library at

From the Desk of Bernard A. Margolis,
New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries