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Summer With the Library

Learn about the various resources and supports for libraries and they plan for summer.


Building Equity Based Summers Through Libraries & Communities

What is BEBS?

Public libraries nationwide offer learning and exploration summer programs. These programs aim to provide youth and adults with services and activities that engage participants meaningfully throughout the summer months. Building Equity Based Summers Through Libraries & Communities (BEBS) is an IMLS Grant program that the CT State Library is participating in. 

The work that influences this current iteration of BEBS was greatly influenced by a previous IMLS grant run in California run by the California Library Association and the California State Library. 

The CT State Library is looking for five Connecticut public libraries to participate in the second year of this three-year initiative. Through eight coworking sessions, each participating library will work with their state consultant through various activities to learn to build library staff skills and summer library programs and services that are equitable across a community.

Participants will work to evaluate:

  • The Why of Summer Services and the Why of Equitable Summer Services
  • Letting Go of Tradition
  • Connecting with Community Voice for Equitable Summer Services
  • Summer Services Impact: What Does Success Look Like

Participants will also work through BEBS Equity Principles and Indicators of Summer Services.

  • Equitable Design- Summer services are designed and implemented with community voice
  • Equitable Decision-Making- Summer services library decision-making processes are embedded in an equity-based community mindset
  • Equitable Opportunities- Summer services expand opportunities for learning and connection
  • Equitable Engagement- Summer services actively engage systemically marginalized youth, families, and communities

Learn more about the BEBS IMLS project.

Read the BEBS year one post survey report for CT

Read the BEBS year one post survey report for the IMLS cohort

Visit the BEBS website


Each participating library will be represented by a team of two staff members, typically the coordinator of the summer library program and a manager or administrator, although any two staff members may participate. Larger teams are also permissible (i,e. additional library staff or community partners).

Each participating library will receive a $500 stipend to support its participation once they’ve completed the BEBS sessions.

Participation in the BEBS initiative will require, of all team members:

  • Attendance at eight (8) 1-1.5 hour learning sessions (about one session every other week) with other CT participants. All session will be virtual and dates will be agreed upon by CT participants and the CT Youth Services Consultant.
  • Participation in a virtual Community of Practice with the teams and state Youth Services Consultants from the other participating states and the BEBS project coordinators. This will involve once-monthly Zoom meetings and access to a network of peers in other states via a listserv.
  • Work within your library to begin to consider and assess your existing and planned summer programs and services through an equity lens.

Year one Participants were:

  • Danbury Public Library
  • The Ferguson Library
  • Hartford Public Library
  • New Haven Free Public Library
  • Waterford Public Library

Questions can be emailed to Kymberlee Powe at

“This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.”

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