Preschool 0–5

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Talking Points for
Public Libraries

5. Public library programming and books for children make a difference. Public libraries provide engaging programs and amazing collections that help students from all backgrounds become excited and enthusiastic readers

Quick Stats Supporting This Talking Point

Libraries are well acquainted with the fact that preschool storybook reading experience is positively correlated with the development of a wide range of language and literacy abilities in young children. Furthermore, it is very common for libraries to provide in-house storybook reading programs at the library or to run outreach programs aimed at families…; child care professionals or preschool teachers…; or others in the community. Outreach projects typically seek to reach children directly through read-aloud programs or to educate parents, preschool teachers, or child care professionals in what and how to read to preschoolers. (Immroth and Ash-Geisler 1995)

Four elements seemed to generate excitement about the public library: the ability to check out many titles at one time, the ability to choose what to read, the availability of family programs, and the fact that all of the above came at no cost.
The availability of many titles meant children could explore their own interests and develop a sense of reading as an enjoyable activity. Asking for specific books and requesting help from the librarian was one way to claim competence as a reader and as a learner.
As institutions, libraries supported literacy events that tie to the larger cultural practices of coming together as part of a community. (MacGillivray, Ardell and Curwen 2010)

Libraries can collaborate with schools and other community organizations to ensure children's successful language and literacy development and to help bridge the gap between home and school often experienced by culturally diverse students and families (Hull and Schultz 2001; Sanders 2001)