AILA and APALA highlight family literacy with new Web site

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/03/2010


John Amundsen


CHICAGO - The American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) have launched a website to feature the Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture website ( 
Part of the Family Literacy Focus initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), Talk Story is a library-based family literacy model that reaches out to Asian/Pacific American (APA) and Native American (NA) children and families. Talk Story promotes early literacy skills and cultural literacy development in emergent-readers and early readers. The program engages children and their families in storybook reading, storytelling, book sharing, art, music, dance and other cultural activities. Through family literacy, Talk Story celebrates APA and NA cultures by building self-esteem and cultural identity in our children, while sharing knowledge and fostering an understanding of cultural diversity to children of all backgrounds. 
The Talk Story website features resources developed by AILA and APALA Talk Story team members. Resources include:  
·         Program manual to help librarians add Talk Story to their family literacy programming 
·         Early literacy resources and tips for families
·         AILA and APALA bibliographies of quality children's and young adult literature
·         Searchable storytime database with tagging capabilities
·         Interactive features, including personalized login accounts for contributing ideas, announcing Talk Story events and sharing photos
·         Listings for upcoming Talk Story events
·         Details about the Talk Story project and ALA's Family Literacy Focus Initiative
This month Talk Story events were held at:
·         Carson Library (Carson, Calif.)
·         Queens Library (Flushing, N.Y.)
·         Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library (Lincoln, Neb.)
Upcoming Talk Story events will take place at:
·         Laguna Public Library (Laguna, N.M.)
·         Tuzzy Consortium Library (Barrow, Alaska)
·         Marlborough Public Library (Marlborough, Mass.)
·         Jemez Pueblo Community Library (Jemez Pueblo, N.M.)
These programs create positive family experiences and help participants develop greater respect and understanding of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaskan Native cultural identity, history and traditions. We want all participants to strengthen their literacy skills and gain self-confidence through culturally appropriate materials and positive role models.  In addition, these activities foster strong and lasting library/community partnerships.  
The website was designed by 2005 Spectrum Scholar Grace Lau and coordinated by APALA Talk Story team member and 2008 Spectrum Scholar Jeannie Chen. Harrison W. Inefuku, also a 2008 Spectrum Scholar, designed the Talk Story logo and flyers.
Talk Story is generously supported by the American Library Association as part of ALA 2009-2010 President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Initiative. For information, please visit, or contact Liana Juliano at or Sherise Kimura at