Blogger Kaitlin Frick

After-Hours Library Programs for Busy Families

My library is situated in an extremely commercial area of Manhattan. This means our children’s department sees mostly nannies who scour the city for ways to keep young charges entertained. When we do see parents, it’s often as a stop on their way home to select reading material for the week – without their children. So, about a year into working for NYPL, I decided to try an after-hours library program for families – to get to know these parents and grandparents we rarely, if ever, see. Thus, the Great Family Camp-In was born.

Early Literacy

Getting Creative: Utilizing Volunteers in Early Literacy Outreach

If your library, like ours, is working with too few staff and is receiving more requests for outreach visits, it might be time to get creative. About a year ago, we attended a wonderful state library conference session presented by Deschutes County in which they described their volunteer outreach program. While their library system is much more robust than our single library, we saw potential in their model for our needs. Below is a series of questions, with some of our answers, that served as a foundation for developing our program. While this outline is by no means exhaustive, and will require customization for your organization, we hope this can spark ideas for your own creative solutions.

Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Supports Early Literacy and Family Corners

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC established interactive Early Literacy Family (ELF) Corners at all eight locations to encourage families to develop pre-reading skills with their children from birth through five years old. ELF Corners enrich children’s learning through interactive manipulatives to encourage children and their caregivers to talk, sing, read, write, and play. Board books, games, puzzles and imaginative play resources support interactions between adult and child. Youth Services librarians utilize these engaging manipulatives to model Every Child Ready to Read best practices and promote books and resources through individual consultations with adults to strengthen pre-reading skills. Impromptu story time experiences demonstrated effective reading techniques. ELF Corners provide a non-threatening environment for new families to engage in literacy activities. As a parent summarized her early literacy experiences for her child, “every time I walk into my library, I never leave disappointed. My daughter is more…

Early Literacy

Songs by Librarians for Librarians

In January 2018, the New York Public Library (NYPL) released their first-ever album of original children’s music, NYPL Sings! Former NYPL children’s librarian Emily Elizabeth Lazio wanted to showcase the multifaceted talents of NYPL staff who, in addition to making books and learning come alive for our young patrons and their families every day, wrote and performed all the songs on this album. The album was made possible through the NYPL Innovation Project, generously supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, which supports Library staff for creative, unique ideas that improve programs, services and processes at NYPL. The early literacy team and education department at NYPL served as project managers, and over forty past and present staff members lent their songwriting, instrumental, vocal, and performance skills! Each song on the album represents a different way for caregivers to prepare their children for a lifetime of learning.  NYPL focuses on singing…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Congratulations to the 2018 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that New Carrollton Public Library is the recipient of the 2017-2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families program. Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families started in April 2017. The program was initiated during a time when the library, (located in New Carrollton, MD), was being renovated. With the encouragement of  library administration, Program Coordinator, Meisywe Cavanaugh, decided to start visiting  a community housing center about five miles from the main library. Cavanaugh found that there was a large population of refugee families and young children living in this area. Currently, families who attend the library program are from: Afghanistan, Syria, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other Arabic speaking…

Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Talking is Teaching at #PLA2018

Librarians know that talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with their children from birth can have dramatic impacts on the child’s development. Today at #PLA2018, San Francisco Public Library presented “Talking is Teaching: Opportunities for Increasing Early Brain and Language Development” with their early literacy partner, Too Small to Fail, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation.

Early Literacy

Updating your Early Literacy Space — for all sizes and budgets!

A well loved early literacy space is the ideal sign of your library meeting the needs of your community’s youngest learners; however, with great love, often comes broken toys, missing blocks and dirty rugs. No matter how big or small your early literacy space is at your library, it is important to keep the space warm, welcoming and engaging for both children and their grownups, which is often easier said than done. How do you constantly keep your space inviting and up-to-date when your budget may not keep up with your community needs?

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Bilingual Outreach at the Doctor’s Office

One of the most formidable aspects of public library work is reaching out to community members who are not current library users. This challenge can be made more daunting when trying to reach immigrant and non-English speaking populations who may not be present at more typical outreach events like back-to-school nights. Meeting these groups where they are is important as many times they have not previously used libraries and are not sure what services we provide or if they are able to get a library card. To bridge this gap, Alexandria Library staff members have been visiting a local doctor’s office in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood for the last three years. Every Monday morning at 8:30am, Patricia Amaya and Christian Reynolds arrive wearing aprons embroidered with the library logo to engage parents and children while they wait for their appointments. Patricia, a native Spanish speaker, talks with adults about what the…