Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Rock Out and Advocate!

In thinking about this blog, I became excited about the idea of having other people not just respond to something written by me, but actually write the initial piece in order to enrich and vary perspective.  I asked Christy Estrovitz if she would take a program that she puts together each year and talk about it as advocacy.  Christy is the Early Literacy Coordinator for the San Francisco Public Library, a member of the Every Child Ready to Read Oversight Committee and a member of the 2014 ALSC Institute Planning Committee.

Toni Bernardi
Chief of Children and Youth Services, San Francisco Public Library
Chair, ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee

POT, The Not-Its, Nicole

Rock out and Advocate!

What does the biggest little music fest on the west coast have do to do with advocacy–everything!

Think family engagement, public libraries, hip publicity, outreach, early literacy, kindie-rock (family rock) music and you have the essence of Tricycle Music Fest.  It recognizes the remarkable value of song-and rhythm and rhyme-in establishing essential early literacy skills.  To give credit where credit is due, Tricycle Music Fest is the original programming brainchild of Tony Tallent formerly of Charlotte Public Library.

In its 5th year, the San Francisco Public Library partnered up with the San Mateo County Library to expand the early literacy focused music fest to engage even more families.  I worked closely with Carine Risley, Youth and Family Services/Literacy and Learning Literacy Manager, to develop shared graphics and build out the most phenomenal concert series involving 9 award winning bands, 28 public libraries, and 29 free concerts. Held every weekend in September, October and early November, thousands of families boogie down to the library to dance, bop, groove together. From schools to laundramats, playgrounds to coffee shops, both counties are sprinkled with TMF postcards, stickers, temporary tattoos, and posters.  With unified print pieces, mirrored websites ( and, shared promotional videos from participating artists, collaborative t-shirt design, TMF positions public libraries as vibrant family destinations.

As librarians, we know story time is a portal where parents rediscover the library with their child.  TMF, scheduled weekends, reaches working parents and taps into their own love of live music.  Because playing is just as important as singing, we raffled off one tricycle to a lucky concert-goer at each show.  “This is my son’s first tricycle and first rock show. What a special day at my library!”, one excited parent noted. And, of course, every raffle ticket had an early literacy tip embedded.

Is your library ready to rock out and advocate? If so, contact me for more details at (415) 557-4218 or

Curious about the tunes?  This year’s fest included Lucky Diaz (Latin Grammy Nominee), The Okee Dokee Brothers (2013 Grammy Award Winner for children’s music), The Pop Ups (Grammy Nominee), Cat Doorman, Aaron Nigel Smith, The Not-Its!, and local favorites Alison Faith Levy, The Corner Laughers, and The Hipwaders.


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