ALSC [Association for Library Services to Children] and PLA [Public Library Association] concluded that public libraries could have an even greater impact on early literacy through an approach that focused on educating parents and caregivers. If the primary adults in a child’s life can learn more about the importance of early literacy and how to nurture pre-reading skills at home, the effect of library efforts can be multiplied many times.
Parents of children in classrooms using Storytimes to Go! kits receive “Parent Activity Sheets” for every kit the teacher borrows. These sheets feature activities such as finger plays, art, and exploration activities that they can use to extend the child’s preschool experiences into the home. The sheets provide booklists that families can take to the library to assist them in selecting age-appropriate books.
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 & Schultz, 2001; Sanders, 2001).
This study investigated how 26 Maryland public librarians were providing early literacy opportunities to young children and their families through their outreach services… All librarians knew the importance of forming home, school, and community partnerships and were working collaboratively among these spheres to help children succeed in school
Schools and community organizations, such as libraries, can serve to support families, as well as provide direct literacy experiences to children and youth that complement family practices (Epstein & Sanders).
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.
For this family, the library facilitated parent-child bonds. The mother also saw it as a safe place for developing a love for books. She was acting as the one with knowledge who was supporting her child’s literacy growth.