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Summer is just around the corner! That means it’s time to plan for summer programs and after school activities in the fall. These are especially important this year as schools find themselves needing to address learning loss in the wake of the pandemic.

Schools in the United States can even receive funding from Covid relief bills to carry out summer programs and supplemental learning activities. Learn more about what this means for your school!

So, which aspects of Alexandria can help you with programs and activities that may qualify for this funding?


Alexandria is web-based, meaning you can access your catalog from anywhere with an internet connection. Kids can browse items, place things on hold, and use online resources—such as ebooks—from home or other places in your community with internet.

Also, most of our patron-facing interfaces are WCAG-2 compliant, which means they’re accessibility-friendly and work on mobile.


Whether activities are in-person or remote, it’s important to keep everyone up-to-date.

  • Explore Panes: Customize Researcher, the place where patrons access your catalog and other resources, with Explore panes. You can link to other Explore panes, specific search results, and external resources (websites, videos, quizzes, or Google Forms). And message Explore panes can display information on programs and activities. Give each class or group their own Explore pane (i.e. set of bookmarks)!
  • Bulletin Boards: Keep parents and kids in the know about what’s available with digital bulletin boards. Specifically, they can be used to coordinate extra-curricular or special classes, in-person or digitally. (Teachers/program admins can set up and maintain their own bulletin boards.) And, just like Explore panes, they can link to other learning resources.
  • Email notices: Easily send out emails to communicate with parents and kids outside of regular school hours. This could include letting patrons know about activities, kits, and more. (Tip: Public libraries can use a Google Forms to gather contact information for patrons interested in notices. Then use the level or location fields in Alexandria to mark those accounts for notices.)
  • Reviews: Use reviews as an easy way to get book reports for reading assignments. (And use an Explore pane message or bulletin board to post questions and prompts!)
  • Slideshow: Create a slideshow to display ebooks patrons can check out during the summer. Extra slideshows can be generated and linked to to provide more visual summer reading lists.
  • Activity: Track and report on activities both in and out of the library, which can be helpful in justifying costs to administrators.
Additionally, you can share links to your Explore panes, bulletin boards, and slideshows through your learning management system (Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology, etc).

Personalization and Flexibility

Along with customizing Explore panes and bulletin boards, Alexandria allows you to tailor parts of the program to fit your school.

  • Saved lists: Create lists of books and materials specific to an activity or assignment, so that you know kids are choosing from items that match your requirements.
  • Calendars: Mark days your library is open for pick ups and returns during the summer.
  • Policies: Each patron and item are assigned a policy, which defines rules that regulate how library resources are used. Need to allow some items to be checked out during the summer, or adjust transaction periods? Policies will help you do that!
What is your library doing for the summer? Are you starting any new programs? Leave a comment and let us know!

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