Basic Service: Child-friendly, literacy-rich environment. Promotes: Early/emergent literacy, motivation, joy of reading, access to materials.
Basic Service: Story time for preschoolers. Promotes: Hearing language, being read aloud to, socialization, cognitive development for building later learning, modeling reading aloud and interaction for parents and caregivers, reading motivation, playing with language. Best Practice: Parent training and mentoring. Promotes: Socialization, language-skill building, book selection, motivation, joy of reading. Best Practice: Programming with families. Promotes: Lifelong use of library, motivation, parent/child interaction, independent reading, access to materials, early/emergent literacy. Best Practice: Child-care provider training and mentoring. Promotes: Early/emergent literacy, book selection, motivation, joy of reading, playing with language.
The autobiographies affirmed that the librarian has helped to develop the love of books and the sense of connectedness that students need in order to “want” to read. This in turn leads to choice reading, vocabulary increase, higher fluency and the ability to demonstrate those skills in a variety of ways. The individuals in the role of librarian have a huge impact on this willingness and interest in reading.
Traditionally, emergent storybook reading and emergent writing in the home have been seen as the major site of literacy development (Sulzby, 1991), however because so many children are in preschool situations and because so many families have [Limited English Proficiency], more emphasis is being put on the need for literacy development at out-of-the-home settings.
In this context [Nespeca , 1995], library outreach programs gain essential importance serving those who do not have the opportunity to use the libraries on site. The fact that library outreach programs are important for the people living in public housing homes is clearly stated in Kinney’s (1996) Ph.D. thesis and this naturalistic inquiry reveals that story mobile service has significant positive effects on children’s emergent literacy skills in these homes.
Libraries are places that are free to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language, or age. They are open to the public 7 days a week. Because low socio-economic and minority children are at risk in term of early literacy development and because books and literacy materials are less accessible to poor parents and their children, public libraries’ role as a free, public provider becomes even more vital to meeting this population’s demands for literacy materials and support.
Researchers have found that early literacy development has a strong correlation with children’s future academic achievement programs (Bowman, Donovan and Burns, 2001; Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000).
[W.H.] Teale (1995) points out that libraries and librarians, working cooperatively with family literacy programs or other community wide programs, may serve children in their homes or in libraries. Teale also suggests that libraries can employ special programs that promote children’s early literacy development or they may distribute materials to be used in homes or child care settings.
One individual who can be a model for providing meaningful interactions between young children and age-appropriate literature is a children’s librarian in a public library.
Parents or caregivers and their children can experience and explore children’s books, rhymes, songs, and imagination activities by attending storytime programs presented at public libraries.