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 as a wonderful way for parents, caregivers and librarians to bond with children and help them become self-confident, curious, and intrepid readers with a lifelong love of reading. NYPL compiled liner notes for each song, which engage parents and caregivers in reinforcing each developmental skill presented in the lyrics. NYPL Sings! is a product of the energy and diversity of New York City, and each song is as stylistically different as the individuals who composed it. From dealing with feelings, to asking children open-ended questions, to encouraging families to explore books and stories at their local library branch, the concepts on this album are meant for every family. We encourage library staff around the country to use this album in early literacy programming or at home with their own families! The album and liner notes are available for free to download and stream on nypl.org/abc.

To get a behind the scenes look at the making of this album and to meet the Librarians responsible for its creation, visit NYPL’s blogs for a blog series written by Children’s Librarian and Early Literacy Coordinator, Chelsea Condren. Each song will eventually have its own feature blog post!

NYPL Sings: Songs for Our Children. Daddy lion playing ukulele to baby lion sitting on rocks

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