TPL and other libraries across Canada are working to minimize the impacts of the pandemic on children’s reading and learning this summer. Here’s an update on our TD Summer Reading Club and Summer Wonder plans.

When COVID-19 struck and public libraries closed across Canada in March, the TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) team was putting the final touches on the program. Faced with uncertainty about when libraries would reopen, and what services they could provide, TPL’s team – Daniel Colangelo, Sam Dizon and Hermine Mbondo, led by Jessica Roy – and partners, Library and Archives Canada, immediately started reimagining the program. TDSRC is Canada’s largest, bilingual summer reading program, co-created and delivered by more than 2,000 public libraries across Canada, and kids of all ages and abilities rely on the program to inspire them to explore the joy of reading throughout the summer.

They made the difficult decision to cancel the distribution of the physical program materials for summer 2020.  As a result, nearly 4 million pieces of program materials have been stored for distribution in 2021.

The good news is that the TDRSC already has a robust online program, and have shifted exclusively to an online experience, adding in some new elements and a teaser video to help libraries reach out to their local schools to promote the club.

The online program kicks off on June 15th, and kids can:

  • Create an online notebook
  • Read ebooks
  • Vote in the Battle of the Books
  • Review books
  • Participate in weekly trivia
  • Write stories
  • Read and write jokes
  • Read an original web comic by Kean Soo
  • View author/illustrator readings and workshops
  • Print colouring sheets
  • Find the perfect book

At TPL, TDSRC is an integral part of Summer Wonder, our initiative to help prevent summer slide by keeping kids reading and learning all summer long.

The Summer Wonder work group, led by Ana Malespin and supported by staff in branches and Children’s Services, has also been focusing on moving summer programs and learning activities online. The virtual Creativity Challenges, Wonder Wall, and programs like Wonder Workshops, storytimes, author readings, Mini Makers, programs in French, and of course, the TDSRC, will help to ensure that, until we’re able to safely connect with them again in person, kids have a wonder-full summer!

Thanks to both of these teams and staff delivering children’s services for working so hard to support kids and families this summer, and all year long.

Take care,


Vickery Bowles

City Librarian

Toronto Public Library