At the Membership Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall at the ALA 2009 Annual Conference, April Roy, member of the ALSC Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee presented the new brochure and announced the new product line for the ALSC Born to Read initiative during a Saturday Membership 101 Program.
April shared the new design which offers quick tips about how to share books with your baby, includes a book list, and stresses that talking to and reading to babies increases their language development and understanding. As the parent of a 7-week-old daughter, April knows how busy expectant and new parents are and how overwhelmed they can feel by all of the reading material given to them. The new design is crisp and uncluttered with the headings “Read,” “Share,” “Talk,” and “Play.” Some of the tips are:
- Read to your baby every day. Set aside a special time, such as before bed.
- Read to your baby in short amounts whenever you have time–while you’re in line at the grocery store or waiting for a bottle to warm.
- Read or tell stories in the language you know best.
- Attend a baby story time at the library. Ask your librarian for help finding books, music, and toys.
- Choose books with bold colors, simple words, pictures of baby faces, and textured pages.
- Read with expression. Vary the tone of your voice.
- Point to pictures and talk about them.
- Chant nursery rhymes and add actions.
- Point out and name animals, household objects, people, colors, and shapes everywhere, all the time.
- Respond to your baby’s babbling. Laugh, babble, and talk with her.
- Share books when you and your baby are both in a good mood. Move on to a new activity when your baby loses interest.
- Use reading time to bond with your baby. Cuddle with your baby on your lap and let her hold the book.
After her presentation, April talked with me a bit more about how her library has purchased bundles of the new brochure as part of a grant they have received from a local memorial fund. With these monies, the Kansas City Public Library gives books and Born to Read brochures to local women’s clinics. Speaking of her own experience reading with her baby, April stated, “It’s a fun time for us. When she’s in a good, happy mood, reading is the perfect thing to do.”
The committee continues to work on revamping the Born to Read web site and program material. ALSC members are encouraged to volunteer for ALSC committees as we work to provide exceptional library service to all children. For a committee volunteer form, visit the ALSC Web Site and click on the link “ALSC Wants You!” to download the form.