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Summer Reading Program: BEBS

Building Equity-Based Summers


The Office of Library and Information Services is one of six state library agencies piloting the IMLS grant funded initiative Building Equity-Based Summers Through Libraries & Communities (BEBS). Led by the California Library Association (CLA), this project will build on the work of CLA and the California State Library (CSL) in developing a shared equity language and a set of tools and resources for library staff to use to build community-centered equitable summer services for youth, families, and communities.



As part of this work, OLIS and participating state library agencies are:

  • Participating in equity-based co-design processes to reach a shared understanding and language related to this work
  • Reviewing, discussing, and customizing materials developed as a part of the CLA/CSL project
  • Co-designing training for library staff in pilot states on equity and summer services
  • Recruiting public libraries, selected to represent a diversity of communities, to work with on equity in summer services planning and implementation
  • Working with selected public library staff and support implementation - through coaching, mentoring, and a community of practice - of equity-based summer services

BEBS Topics

  • Why Equity?: Setting the Stage
  • The Whys of Summer
  • Letting Go of Tradition
  • Connecting with Community Voices
  • Summer Services Impact: What Does Success Look Like

2023 Cohort

  • Community Libraries of Providence
  • Cranston Public Library
  • East Providence Public Library
  • North Providence Public Library
  • Providence Public Library
  • Tiverton Public Library
  • Westerly Library
  • West Warwick Public Library

2024 Cohort

The application for the second BEBS cohort will open August 28, 2023 and a virtual information session will be held September 6 at 1pm.

Those selected to participate in the BEBS working group will take part in a series of eight, 1.5 hour virtual sessions on the following dates (times to be determined):

  • October 12
  • October 26
  • November 30
  • December 14
  • January 4
  • January 18
  • February 1
  • February 15

Sessions will cover topics such as:

  • Why equity is important to summer library services and communities
  • How to assess current summer services with an equity mindset
  • How to begin to build equity-based summer services
  • Ways to bring community voices into the design and decision making of equity-based summer services
  • How to have conversations with community partners, stakeholders, and members about equity and equity-based summer services.

Following the learning sessions, participants will be able to begin the design of equity-based summer services.  They will also be able to articulate the impact these services have on the community, specifically community members who are a part of systematically marginalized communities.

For any questions related to the BEBS initiative or this application please contact Danielle Applications must be submitted no later than September 22.