Library outreach in 2023 continues to evolve and include services for underserved families more than ever. While there was previously a strong lack of information on the topic, there are now many more librarians researching, writing articles, and sharing their processes and success stories to enable others in the profession to continue this important and wonderful work. Many library systems offer robust outreach services and allocate funding for it into their budgets, but there are also many libraries both big and small that don’t receive adequate funding to purchase and operate a bookmobile or hire dedicated outreach staff. While funding and support are incredible to have, it simply isn’t always there to start, and that’s ok! Luckily, there are many outreach services that librarians can provide at little to no cost. Bookmobiles & More Many libraries have fully embraced the idea of on-the-go librarianship and outreach, and bookmobiles have been…
If anyone were to go back in time and tell my high school algebra teacher that I was running math programs for preschoolers, I think he would have laughed in your face! I was SO not a math kid. Fast forward quite a few years. As an elementary school teacher, I had the opportunity to earn a post-Master’s certificate as a Math Specialist. This program taught me to look at math differently. And different turned out to be very, very good. I’m still not a math whiz, but I love highlighting math content in my storytimes and preschool outreach programs.
Last month, I began a mini-series on preschool outreach programs and wrote about a program on symmetry. This month, I’ll share a program with a physics focus.
I love doing traditional preschool outreach storytimes. Sharing great books and fun flannels? Singing and dancing to silly songs? I’m there for it. However, a friend at another library inspired me to expand my repertoire. I added preschool outreach programs to highlight STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and math) picture books and offer opportunities for preschoolers to engage in a different way than storytimes. Over the next few months, I’ll highlight some success stories and look forward to hearing how YOU shake things up in outreach!
Have you included outreach in your summer reading plans? If not, I have got the place for you! Your community’s municipal pool will be packed this summer and your library should view this as a major outreach opportunity!
Summer reading is coming to an end, and school is starting up soon. In fact, where I live, some schools start next week! As we transition into fall, the start of a new semester gives librarians ample opportunities to reach out beyond our typical users and let non or infrequent users know about our programs and services. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years.
I’ve been offering preschool outreach for 14 of the almost 15 years that I’ve worked in the library field. For the last few years, I’ve appreciated the challenge of reimagining what preschool outreach could look like. Although I still provide traditional storytimes, the different approaches I added have reinvigorated me and captivated the preschoolers I serve.
I came into my current position about 4 months with a goal to restart and revive youth outreach programs. One of the first PLA programs of the day was Clear and Kind: Boundaries in Outreach Work presented by Kate Morgan of King County Library System and Rachel Beckman of Sno-Isle Libraries.