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Summer Reading Program Statistics

The Summer Reading Program, sponsored by the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), is a cooperative effort among libraries in Rhode Island to motivate children and teens to read for pleasure and to help them maintain their reading skills during the summer months.

Beginning in 1976, Rhode Island's statewide Summer Reading Program initially targeted children ages 6-12. Now in it's 43 year, the Summer Reading Program serves children, teens, and adults. OLIS provides public libraries with iREAD programming materials to support library staff in motivating children, young adults, and adults to read and learn.Through this multi-state cooperative, a program manual and promotional materials are provided to each public library. Funding for the program comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act. For more information about the Summer Reading Program, visit the current program page or the Summer Reading Program LibGuide.

Facts at a glance

  • All of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns participate in the statewide summer reading program, including: 71 public library buildings (includes branch libraries).
  • 2023 Statewide Participation:
    • 10,052 children participated
    • 2,030 teens participated
    • 3,152 adults participated
    • 39,495 children attended in-person programs; 135 attended virtual programs
    • 6,002 teens attended in-person programs; 60 attended virtual programs
    • 8,271 adults attended in-person programs; 1,016 attended virtual programs
    • 6 libraries served summer meals
  • 2022 Statewide Participation:
    • 12,213 children participated
    • 2,065 teens participated
    • 2,715 adults participated
    • 1,338 children attended virtual programs; 36,028 attended in-person programs
    • 419 teens attended virtual programs; 4,203 attended in-person programs
    • 52 adults attended virtual programs;  6,937 attended in-person programs
    • 4 libraries served summer meals
  • 2021 Statewide Participation:
    • 9,364 children participated
    • 1,391 teens participated
    • 1,969 adults participated
    • 3,997 children attended virtual programs; 19,671 attended in-person programs
    • 822 teens attended virtual programs; 1,258 attended in-person programs
    • 4,431 adults attended virtual programs; 2,847 attended in-person programs
    • 4 libraries served summer meals
  • 2020 Statewide Participation:
    • 6,166 children participated
    • 1,636 teens participated
    • 12,815 children attended virtual programs; 3,185 attended in-person programs
    • 2,139 teens attended virtual programs; 209 attended in-person programs
    • 5 libraries served summer meals
  • 2019 Statewide Participation:
    • 12,051 children participated
    • 2,327 teens participated
    • 14,976 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 732 children and teens volunteered at their local public library
    • 7 libraries served summer meals
  • 2018 Statewide Participation:
    • 12,846 children participated
    • 2,234 teens participated
    • 13,657 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 410 children and teens volunteered at their local public library
    • 5,731 summer meals served at 8 libraries
       
  • 2017 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,273 children participated
    • 2,404 teens participated
    • 10,591 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 517 children and teens volunteered at their local public library
       
  • 2016 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,530 children participated
    • 3,063 teens participated
    • 12,734 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 489 teens volunteered at their local public library
       
  • 2015 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,283 children participated
    • 2,091 teens participated
    • 14,619 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 496 teens volunteered at their local public library
  • 2014 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,428 children participated
    • 1,720 teens participated
    • 16,479 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 335 teens volunteered at their local public library
       
  • 2013 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,991 children participated
    • 1,937 teens participated
    • 16,797 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 337 teens volunteered at their local public library
       
  • 2012 Statewide Participation:
    • 13,448 children participated (9.5% increase from 2011)
    • 2,209 teens participated (6.5% increase from 2011)
    • 17,310 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS (14% increase in audiences at children's programs, 51% increase in participation in teen programs)
    • 439 teens volunteered at their local public library
       
  • 2011 Statewide Participation and Book Distribution:
    • 12,172 children participated
    • 2065 teens participated
    • 7,515 free books were distributed to children and teens
    • 13,910 people attended special programs coordinated by OLIS
    • 539 teens volunteered at their local public libraries