BATON ROUGE, La (press release) – The State Library of Louisiana announces the end of the 2020 statewide summer reading program, “Imagine Your Story,” which followed the general theme of fairytales, folktales, and mythology. Louisiana libraries continued to combat summer learning loss by offering dynamic, entertaining, and educational programs for children, teens, and adults across the state.

“Summer reading is critical for students to retain knowledge learned in the previous school year,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Students who don’t read throughout the summer are at risk of falling behind, and, by the end of sixth grade, children who consistently lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates. This is why the State Library’s Summer Reading Program is so important.”

Studies show youth who read during the summer months return to school in the fall at or above their spring reading levels. Children participated in the summer reading program by reading books throughout the summer, engaging with library programs, and accessing digital library resources.

“Since March, the State Library has regularly convened with children’s librarians across the state to identify the best online resources for parents and to plan creative and educational programming to keep young people engaged while home over the extended summer break,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “Their dedication in these unprecedented times will ensure the summer reading program will continue to be as successful as it has been for the last thirty-seven years.”

This summer, Louisiana libraries offered new ways to engage families in summer reading amid the pandemic. “Imagine Your Story” proved to be a most appropriate theme, as it took a lot of imagination to reformat programs and create digital content in lieu of original plans. Library staff created take-and-make crafts for curbside pickup, hosted online book clubs, took their patrons on virtual tours, and even continued storytime online after many publishers adjusted their copyright permissions.

The State Library belongs to the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a national cooperative to encourage reading throughout the summer. Those registered with the State Library’s Talking Books and Braille Library were participants, as well. For more information on the Summer Reading Program and other State Library programs, visit