How to transform a summer reading program into a summer learning program with STEM

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/23/2014


Dan Freeman

eLearning Manager

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces an exciting new workshop, How to Transform a Summer Reading Program into a Summer Learning Program with STEM with Elizabeth McChesney. This workshop will last 90 minutes and take place at 2:30 pm Eastern on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.

The summer slide is a phenomenon well known to public librarians. Every summer, the library fills with children and parents attempting to stop the knowledge loss that occurs when schools are out of session.  In the past, libraries have focused on summer reading programs to help students with this problem. Elizabeth McChesney and her staff at the Chicago Public Library completely transformed this notion by building a dynamic summer learning program that goes beyond reading and incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and STEAM (STEM plus the Arts).

You don’t have to serve a city the size of Chicago to make this transformation. In this workshop, McChesney will discuss the tools that her staff use and explain how they can be applied to your library community. She will teach you the foundations of STEM/STEAM and how to assess your community’s programming needs. Then she’ll offer tips on how to reach out to audiences to promote your program and how to implement it.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • understand how to infuse STEM- and STEAM-based learning into children’s programming and create a summer learning program for children;
  • gain knowledge of a broad new set of tools for making 21st-century learning skills part of your  children’s programming;
  • understand how to align summer reading to strategic plans and outcomes for your library.

About the Instructor

Elizabeth McChesney is the director of System Wide Children’s Services for the Chicago Public Library, responsible for initiatives throughout the 80-branch library system.  She and her team of children’s librarians transformed one of the nation’s largest summer reading programs into a summer learning challenge in 2013, helping McChesney earn a Library Journal Mover & Shaker Award. 

Registration for this ALA Editions Workshop is available on the ALA Store. You can purchase registration at both individual and group rates.

ALA Editions Workshops are designed to give you and your staff the opportunity to participate in a hands-on learning experience that will help you make the best technology decisions for your library.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5843 or

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.