Blogger Kary Henry

Making Connections

Making connections is perhaps the number one thing we do. As library professionals, we make connections between children and books. We make connections between people and resources. We make connections between our community and the library. A colleague and I have created another connection: with a newsletter for caregivers of preschool-aged children.

An amazing member of our Adult Services Department, Chase, had created Selections. This newsletter reached out to our adult patrons with staff recommendations. Whether it was a great book we had read, the latest series we were watching non-stop on a Library’s Roku®, a database we found particularly useful, or the newest cool LEGO® set from our Library of Things….Selections featured diverse highlights and was shared via our e-newsletter and on our website.

How We Started

Inspired by the success of that newsletter, Megan and I decided to create something similar for caregivers of preschool-aged children. Our Preschool Pages has gone through several iterations. At first, we offered book recommendations, early literacy tips, and a feature we’ve since abandoned: “News You Can Use.” “News You Can Use” included general library news but got to be a bit clunky. Then we switched to “Did You Know?” (interesting Youth Services Department facts) but continued to struggle with what to highlight each month. What should replace it? More book recommendations! Our early literacy tips feature has also changed. Now we write a feature called “Beyond the Books,” which are activities to go along with the books we’ve recommended.

Where We Are

Megan and I each highlight three books. Occasionally our recommendations will include a non-book item; this month, we focused on the YMAs and shared a digital media recommendation. We each write two ideas for Beyond the Books. We trade off who writes the “Author/Illustrator Spotlight” each month. In this space, we feature someone whose body of work includes many great titles. Whether it’s Kaylani Juanita or Kyle Lukoff, Michaela Goade or Mike Curato, this section includes book covers and a brief summary of the creator’s work. Every book cover links back to our library catalog, making it easy for caregivers to look at the book and hopefully put it on hold!

How It’s Going

Image shows a graph of the number of clicks received by the Preschool Pages newsletter.
Graph created by Zoe Garden, Communication Coordinator, using Canva.

We are thrilled that our newsletter, shared via our e-news and on our website, has found an audience in our community! Caregivers and early childhood educators alike can access book recommendations and activities. Does your library offer a special newsletter like Preschool Pages? If so, please share in the comments below. It would be great fun to see how your library is making connections.

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