Skip to main content

Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010 - 11:15pm

NYS Board of Regents

March 8, 2010

1:25 pm - 1:50 pm                        Seminar Room, 5th Floor EB

Presenter: Bernard A. Margolis, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries.

Joint Meeting of Cultural Education and Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education

Regent Dawson called the joint committee to order and introduced Bernard Margolis.

The importance of summer reading: research on summer reading and learning

Margolis thanked the Board of Regents and the Commissioner for keeping the statewide summer reading program, “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” as a top priority of the State Education Department.  This ongoing support has enabled the State Library and its many partners to provide rich and long-lasting education and reading opportunities for millions of young New Yorkers through 1,100 local public libraries and neighborhood branches since 1992.  One of the desired outcomes for summers of 2010 and 2011 is greater promotion of summer reading by the schools, with a particular focus on reaching those disadvantaged students that may not find their way to the public library on their own.

In response to an earlier request from Chancellor Tisch, the State Library has developed: The Importance of Summer Reading: Research Findings on Summer Reading and Learning. This new White Paper, which is still a DRAFT and a work in progress, highlights key research on the importance of summer reading to long-term student success and achievement.  This DRAFT White Paper focuses on four major areas:

  • Impact of summer learning loss on disadvantaged students
  • Importance of access to books and time for reading
  • Importance of successful reading experiences
  • Impact of innovative library summer reading programs


Before finalizing and disseminating the White Paper, the State Library seeks feedback and advice from the Regents on:

  • The focus and content of the paper – suggested improvements?
  • Thoughts on avenues for dissemination and related activities and possible partners to help achieve the desired outcome?
  • And, what else might SED do to achieve the desired outcomes?


What’s New for 2010 - Summer Reading at New York Libraries?

In addition to the White Paper and the new program name and logo, several new statewide activities in 2010 will further promote and support “Summer Reading at New York Libraries:”

  • Websites: more downloadable materials for librarians, educators, and families; reading lists; research information; and links to further information
  • Statewide on-line registration for public library summer reading programs with Evanced software product—the leading national software for summer reading
  • Collaborations with school libraries, NYS Public Broadcasting, State Museum, SED, and other education organizations.
  • New collaborative activities with the Senate and Assembly to promote summer reading in local communities.



The Joint Committee requested that the State Library expand the White Paper to include policy recommendations with regard to actions to engage partners in the use of the Statewide Summer Reading Program and to integrate summer reading into school curricula, particularly encouraging teachers to provide summer reading lists.

The Joint Committee offered several recommendations for partnerships for expanded outreach of the summer reading program including community summer recreation offices.  The committee also encouraged the use of online tools to enable students to share reviews and comments on books they have read.

The Commissioner agreed to provide additional information about a program at the National Endowment for the Arts.