Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Talia Bar, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

Honors Major


Second Honors Major



Behavioral Economics | Children's and Young Adult Literature | Economic History | Economic Theory | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education


With digital forms of entertainment and media more inescapable than ever, it has become increasingly difficult to encourage children and teens to read. Simultaneously, despite an overwhelming amount of literature demonstrating the educational benefits of reading, especially as a necessity in the summer between academic years, library budgets are shrinking as federal funding nears its end. How do libraries promote summer reading amidst declining interest and decreased funding? Using data from public libraries across Connecticut, this paper investigates how libraries are adapting their children's summer reading programs to a changing landscape, how programs are designed to incentivize reading without eliminating the intrinsic benefits, and whether summer reading participation and engagement are affected by the level of wealth in the town around it.