BPL Transitioning from Summer Reading to Summer Learning Library Programs

About 2018 Summer Learning at BPL: Summer Learning offers over 400 free activities for kids, teens and adults at 19 locations across the City of Birmingham in June and July 2018. Register at any BPL location, online at www.bplonline.org, or by attending the 2018 BPL Summer Learning Kickoff Celebration, Friday, June 1, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Central Library. Free tickets for the event are available at all 19 BPL locations. 

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is transitioning from a traditional summer reading model to a new name—Summer Learning—with an emphasis on learning activities and programs designed to help students retain knowledge while on summer break.

As a new member of the Urban Libraries Council, BPL is joining other libraries across the country in switching programs to a Summer Learning program. Summer Learning focuses on learning through reading to prevent the dreaded "summer slide," a term referring to learning loss that occurs when students are out for the summer.

With research spanning 100 years indicating that students lose ground academically during summer break, public libraries are important institutions providing educational opportunities to prevent summer slide. In partnership with the National Summer Learning Association, the Urban Libraries Council identified trends showing that by providing summer learning programs beyond traditional summer reading activities, libraries can play essential roles in helping students retain knowledge during their summer break.

Students benefit from summer learning activities that include STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), Maker Spaces, creative exploration and inquiry-based learning, and early/family literacy, according to the Urban Libraries Council report.

The theme for the 2018 BPL Summer Learning program is "Libraries ROCK!" During June and July, BPL will present more than 400 free programs for children, teens and adults to deepen reading enjoyment spark STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) passions, and the opportunity for students to learn through active exploration.

Summer Learning teen programs being offered at BPL include a spoken word poetry camp and engineering/robotics camp (both at the Central Library), several Teens Engineer BHM workshops at various libraries, and Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: How to Make a Tissue Box Guitar (June 11 at the Inglenook Branch Library).

In addition to learning activities for children and teens, BPL’s 19 library locations will host a variety of programs for adults including computer classes, exercise and dance, arts and crafts, guest lecturers, movies, and book clubs.

Print out a downloadable calendar of Summer Learning programs for kids, teens and adults at BPL's Summer Learning page. You can also find more Summer Learning programs on the BPL events calendar.

Alabama Power Foundation logo

BPL 2018 Summer Learning is made possible by generous support from the Alabama Power Foundation.