Summer Reading Club

Public libraries have for a long time played a valuable role in helping children to learn to read through Story Time and associated programs and provision of children’s collections. While this continues to be a cornerstone of public library programming, many libraries are now offering programs and resources for the development of youth and adult literacy. 

Guidelines, Standards and Outcome Measures for Australian Public Libraries, July 2016, p77

Supporting literacy in libraries

Libraries are not only invested in supporting the development of early literacy skills of children from birth, they are also keen advocates of sustaining literacy and promoting the importance of recreational reading across all ages, particularly during the summer months.

State Library of Queensland supports local governments, Queensland libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres by providing materials and resources to enable them to deliver the Summer Reading Club program in their spaces.

Public libraries are the only government-funded agency available to children from babyhood, providing year-round free access to resources, [programs] and services that support literacy. The Early Literacy Framework and Strategy for Australian Public Libraries, developed by the ALIA Public Libraries Advisory Committee, p1.

Queensland Councils and Libraries

  • 81% of Queensland Library Councils are subscribed to the Summer Reading Club (63 of 78 Councils)

2017 program outcomes for Queensland: 

  • 74% of Queensland libraries delivered Summer Reading Club programming (245 of 330 service points
  • 36,420 Queensland children and young people participated in library summer programming
  • 13,878 Queensland children and young people registered in the Summer Reading Club
  • 86,644 books were read by Queensland children and young people.

Queensland councils delivering Summer Reading Club programming 2017.

What is the Summer Reading Club?

The Summer Reading Club is a free public program for children, young people and families. It runs nationally in libraries and online from 1 December to 31 January each year.

Activities are designed to target the ‘summer slide’ to prevent loss of academic gains made during the school year. Participation at local libraries and online encourages children, young people and families to read all summer long to nurture an ongoing love of reading for fun.

The Summer Reading Club is led by State Library, in partnership with the Australian Public Library Alliance (ALIA), the Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) and state and participating public libraries across Australia.

How is the Summer Reading Club delivered?

Engagement with libraries is central to the Summer Reading Club program.

Funding contributions from ALIA, APLA, SLQ and program sponsors and contributors enables the annual creation and delivery of a themed SRC program and resources for use by public libraries.

Libraries who register their participation have access to free downloadable program materials and ongoing support in the delivery of their SRC programs. State Library Queensland provides participating Queensland libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres a library activation resource kit per registered library branch.

During the summer months children and parents participate in SRC activities and programs across Australia, at their library and online.

Interested Queensland libraries who are not subscribed to the Summer Reading Club program can register their interest online.

A program valued by Queensland Public Libraries

We love the brand. The Summer Reading Club has had a very positive influence on our young library members for years now and staff observe a build-up of excitement each year as registration day gets closer. It's a great way for the library service to encourage our community to read over the school holidays.

Curtis Dray, Gympie Regional Libraries

I appreciate that there are so many materials prepared and available for free so I can encourage local children to read and be involved in the library over the summer school holidays.

Sharon Millet, Gin Gin Library

The opportunity to encourage library memberships. Of our 70 registrations this year, over 30 signed up as new members!

Kasey Allwood, Livingstone Shire Libraries

Read the 2017 Summer Reading Club report