Dr. Lili Luo attended the 2019 Asian Conference on Education and International Development, and delivered a presentation on how public libraries provide programs to help mitigate summer learning loss among k-12 students. She conducted content analysis of a large urban library’s program announcements to examine the types of programs provided during the summer that aim to engage children and teens.
“In a society of lifelong learning - whether
of a formal or informal nature- public
libraries will be nodes connecting the local
learning setting with the global resources
of information and knowledge. ”
- International Federation of Library Associations
• Students score lower on the same
standardized tests at the end of the summer
than they do at the beginning of summer.
• For high school students, over 60% of the
academic achievement gap in reading and
language can be attributed to the learning loss
that students experience during the summers
of the primary school years.
– Entwisle, D., Alexander, K., & Olson, L. 2000
How do public libraries contribute to the
prevention of summer learning loss?
• Resources – print books, eBooks, audio-visual
materials (CDs, DVDs), online resources
• Facilities – spaces (children’s areas, teens’
space, group study rooms), computers,
printers, whiteboards, projectors
• Services – reference librarians
• Programs – events/activities organized by the
Inside the Library
What programs do public libraries provide to
mitigate summer learning loss?
• Content analysis
– Analyzing announcements of library programs for
children and teens from Jun 1 to Aug 31, 2018 at
San Jose Public Library, California, USA
• Located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area,
San Jose is the largest city in Northern California.
• Population - 1.04 million (34.2% Asian, 32.8% Hispanic, and
• K-12 Schools - 30,000 students in 41 schools
San Jose Public Library has 24
branches, serving the entire city
of San Jose.
San Jose Public Library Programs for Teens and
Kids in Summer 2018
• A total of 1741 announcements of programs
for kids and teens from Jun 1 to Aug 31, 2018
• The programs were held across the 24
branches of San Jose Public Library
• Program frequency – singular, serial, recurring
• Program audience – kids, teens, families
• Program type – nutrition assistance, STEM,
tutoring, arts & crafts, reading, games, culture
& language, and entertainment
• Free summer lunch program
• Recurring program
• For kids and teens
“Kids and teens are welcomed to have a free lunch at our library
during the summer (June 11 through August 10) from Mondays to
Fridays starting at 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Meals are provided only for those
2-18 years of age.”
• Programs aim to improve children and teens’
STEM interest, knowledge and skills.
• Programs focus on programming/coding (the
majority), science, math and engineering.
“Go over mathematical concepts led by teen volunteers and keep your math
skills sharp! Topics taught may include: Rational numbers; mean, median,
mode, and range; Greatest Common Factor (GCF) and Least Common Multiple
(LCM), and more! Please visit https://mathcs.weebly.com/ for more
information. Intended for incoming 5th-7th graders (ages 10-13).”
“Explore the fantastic lives of insects in this hands-on science activity! The
Insect Discovery Lab will introduce you to the extraordinarily diverse world of
insects and other arthropods and teach you about their key role in the web of
life. For ages 4 and up.”
“Children ages 8-12 are invited to this beginning coding program using Scratch.
Participants will learn basic video game coding concepts by making different
types of games, including racing, platform, launching, and more. This program
is intended for children with little or no prior experience with coding. Pre-
registration is required.”
Arts and crafts
• Programs aim to engage kids and teens in
creating arts and crafts projects.
• Some programs are themed (e.g. celebrating
“Using Mangaka, a creative card game that encourages players to design
an original comic over 4 rounds of frantic drawing, participants
imagination and creativity will be put to the test! Each participant will be
challenged to build an 8-panel original comic using randomly selected
industry trends and themes. For Teens, ages 12 to 18.”
“Show dad just how much you love him! Make a trophy and crown to
honor dad for his special day! All materials provided. Recommended for
ages 3 and up.”
• Programs aim to keep kids and teens reading
throughout the summer.
• Programs include storytime, reading buddies,
reading to furry friends, and summer reading
“This program encourages children to practice reading through reading to
therapy dogs. If your child loves dogs or if your child needs practice
reading more, this is the perfect program for you. Children during the
course of the hour will read to four to five different dogs trained to work
with children. The dogs can be small or large. They can be a Saint
Bernard or a little mixed poodle. Whatever the type of dog, the children
enjoy reading to them. The children will receive an introduction to the
dog, after they have finished reading to the dog. Come and join the fun..”
• Programs provide tutoring for kids and teens
on varying subjects.
• Tutors are volunteers.
“FREE Math tutoring by High School or College student volunteers.
Improve your math skills and get higher grades! Top ~15% of students
receive award from MUSD President Daniel Bobay. Open to any K-12
“Does your child need to keep their mind sharp over the summer? At
Edenvale Library, our Summer Skills Tutors are here to help.
This in-house tutoring program is geared to help prevent summer slide in
local students by providing reading, spelling, writing & math assistance for
children in grades K-8 .”
Culture and language
• Programs seek to expose kids and teens to
different cultures in the world.
“Sample snacks from around the world. Enjoy snacks from a different
country each month, and test your knowledge about the featured country
with a quiz! TeenHQ events are open for ages 12 to 18.”
“An intermediate level class offered in Simplified Mandarin Chinese. The
classes are intended for children 5-12 years old. It is suggested that
students bring a binder/notebook and pencil or pen when attending the
• Programs invite kids and teens to play games
in the library.
• Games include board games, card games, xBox
RockBand, WII games, etc.
“Get your game on every Wednesday after school in the teen room! Come
hang out, meet people, play board games and wii games, or challenge the
librarian to a game of Just Dance. Bring your friends.”
• Programs provide entertainment for kids,
teens and their family/friends through movies
“A unique performance with soap bubbles which show various principles of
mathematics, physics, and fun! Come watch Tom Noddy's performance in
Bubble Magic and be prepared to see bubbles inside bubbles, inside other
bubbles, and much, much more..”
“Bring your friends or come and make new ones as we watch a movie.
Popcorn and other refreshments will be served.”
• Reach out to your local library
• Promote library programs among students
before summer begins
• Take students to public libraries for field trips
• Invite librarians to speak at classrooms
Implications for Educators