The First Lady and Blades Present 2020 Summer Reading Challenge


May 01, 2020
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is teaming up with the Boston Bruins and First Lady of the Commonwealth Lauren Baker for the first ever First Lady and Blades Summer Reading Challenge. Participating libraries will work with their communities towards their own goal and will be entered into a drawing for Bruins prizes.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with both the Bruins and Mrs. Baker for this great summer reading program” said MBLC Director James Lonergan. “With libraries currently closed but providing virtual programming and services, this is a great way for them to stay connected to their communities and have everyone work towards a shared goal.”

Libraries across the Commonwealth will select their goal, and from July 1 to August 14 will work with the kids, teens, and adults that are participating in summer reading to reach it. It is left up to each library what their goal should be; it could include books read, pages read, minutes read, or some other project that is inclusive of everyone participating. Once the goal is met by the library, they are entered into a drawing for Bruins prizes which include in game experiences including riding a Zamboni ride, high fiving the players, and sitting on the bench during pregame, as well as signed memorabilia including jerseys and pucks.  All libraries participating in summer reading are eligible.

Librarians are also encouraged to share summer reading success stories that demonstrate how the summer programs impact kids and teens. At the conclusion of the challenge, Mrs. Baker will choose her favorite of the stories and make a visit to the library that submitted it. Librarians can submit success stories (omitting any identifying info) to

With schools closed down for the rest of this academic year, summer reading is more important than ever for students to retain what they have learned over the past year, and to increase their knowledge through reading and other events. Studies have shown that children who read just four books over the summer do better when returning to school in the fall than children who read one book or fewer.

Over four million children teens and adults have participated in summer reading since 2009. The Bruins' financial support of the statewide summer reading program, along with federal IMLS Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the MBLC and MLS, has allowed libraries to receive summer reading materials at no cost.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.