Dolly Parton (and Local Pediatricians) Put Reading First

Early literacy interventions are crucial when it comes to making sure children are equipped with the experiences needed to tackle school, careers, and life challenges down the road. A variety of programs work to make sure that children and their families are getting access to books and resources and do a great job of engaging them when it is important. Recent studies have even shown the impact when programs work together to accomplish these goals. Researchers combined Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) and Reach Out and Read (ROR) to examine the effectiveness this combination has on kindergarten readiness assessment scores (KRA). They implemented this at urban primary care sites the ROR serves. What they discovered was that combining literary guidance at pediatric clinic visits while also introducing more books into the home was beneficial to improving kindergarten readiness. Researchers found that health care providers end up playing an important role when it comes to helping patients prepare for school.

Cooking with the Library

If it doesn’t seem logical to connect cooking with libraries, we have some news for you: Not only is it logical, it’s popular, even during the pandemic. Libraries across the country offered in-person cooking classes before COVID, and many of those have gone digital, providing much-needed fun, distraction, and camaraderie during lockdowns. Garden City Public Library in New York has Summer Recipes with Chef Rob Scott, a series of cooking demonstrations complete with recipes; St. Louis County Library combined book groups with mocktail recipes; The Verona library system in New Jersey has virtual kids’ cooking classes; and in Springfield, Massachusetts, the library coordinates an email-based cooking club. These are only a few examples of what’s out there. To learn more, we spoke with Stacie Larson, director and CEO of the Maitland Public Library in Florida, and Kami Bumgardner, youth services assistant in Maitland, about the cooking programs they offer and why they’re important. Maitland had an active roster of cooking classes long before the pandemic arrived. “They were in person, and in a very makeshift way,” said Larson. “We have these six-foot resin tables, and at their very highest level, they’re kitchen-counter height. We would put two of those together at the front of the room. We’ve improved since then. But in 2013 we had a three-burner hotplate, variable heat, an electric skillet, two toaster ovens and microwaves. In 2014, we got a grant to build a proper demonstration kitchen. It’s got a two-burner induction range built into the counter. We set the tables up facing into the kitchen, but it’s got an actual oven and an actual range. it doesn’t wobble when you chop vegetables.”

Publishers Are Wasting Your Tax Dollars on Ebooks.

Not only are eBooks easy to access, their portability and lightweight format allow people to bring piles of their favorite reads everywhere and hold a large number of books in the collection without worrying about the space. Libraries have played a major role in giving people access to ebooks. These books are loaned out to library patrons just like physical copies of titles and that means community members who struggle with access or even those that just want to try out a new book can easily do so through their local public library. However, libraries and academic institutions have faced a series of challenges when it comes to maintaining their ebook collections and it all stems from their relationships with publishers. Publishers are charging libraries an exorbitant amount for access to ebook titles which ends up coming out of your taxpayer dollars. Libraries are meant to be places where community members can seek help and resources without worry of financial barriers or judgement. With the way agreements are trending, tax dollars are directly being used to subsidize publishing companies rather than contributing to the community in other useful ways.

School Libraries are the Only Thing that Matters

Libraries have always made a difference in the lives of learners everywhere. The impact that libraries make has been the subject of many studies and researchers and educators are always interested in discovering the effects that libraries have on their communities. Schools that have high-quality library programs and library staff benefit the entire student body. Student achievement is at all time highs when care and consideration is put into a library’s collection, staffing, and funding. A longitudinal literacy study completed by Dr. Stephen Krashen, an international linguistics scholar, and his colleagues Christy Lao, Sy-ying Lee, and Jeff McQuillan, looked at literacy levels in children. Their research showed that school libraries are the only thing that matters when it comes to closing the gap that exists in literacy levels when poverty comes into play.

Find Healthcare Information At the Library

A public library is the place to go to find resources. What many don’t realize is that it can also serve as one of the community’s public health hubs. For those who are looking for health information, wanting to get simple health checks performed, or even connect with community health resources, the public library is the place to visit.

Summer Days: A History of Summer Reading in Libraries

Summer equals long days, blooming gardens, shorts, cookouts and, in most libraries across the country, the summer reading program. For two months libraries devote significant amounts of time and energy to getting patrons of all ages to spend part of their summer getting lost in a book. The roots of this idea go back almost a hundred and forty years and spread like wildfire across the country, surviving all the twists and turns of history. Take a journey to see how this program became a cornerstone of library programming.

Libraries for Tweens — Tips from the Librarian

The years between being a child and being a teenager can be a confusing and difficult time. Parents of tweens may find their children struggling with the transition to more complicated coursework, new responsibilities, and learning how to grow up. Libraries are a helpful resource for children of any age and are a source of community support for those who need it. Libraries have dedicated programming and staff just for tweens. They help them stay on top of reading, find new interests, and explore a variety of topics and technology. For parents that have reluctant learners or readers in the house, the library is also one of the best places to reference. Parents will come to find that library visits will show their adolescents the fun side of reading. Here are some tips and tricks for how to implement the library into your household schedule and your tween’s life.

Libraries Help Preserve Histories with Memory Labs

Making memories is nothing new, and the ability to save those memories and preserve them for future generations is something that libraries are experts in. Memory Labs are sprouting up at libraries around the country with the main purpose of helping community memories digitize their personal memories. These labs are stocked with the technology, equipment, and expertise needed to guide people through the process. Memory Labs are do-it-yourself spaces where the public can come in and use state-of-the-art and rare equipment provided by public libraries to work on personal archiving projects. They are easy and convenient to use and just another way that libraries are providing a useful service for their patrons. Several of these initiatives were started by the Memory Lab Network (MLN) and have led to dozens of library partnerships across the United States.

The Secret to Your Child’s Reading Success is the Library

Public Libraries Lift Elementary Literacy Skills Homeschoolers, distance learners, and traditional elementary school students can access incredible reading resources and expert aid at the local library. I’m a former elementary school teacher as well as a librarian. Over the years, I’ve learned from personal experience, as well as educational research, that many students need extra support in terms of meeting reading goals. If your young reader is struggling, she is not alone.Data from 2019 indicates that only 35% of 4th grade students performed at or above NAEP proficient reading levels. (Source: NAEP.gov) Public libraries offer supplemental reading programs, literacy tutoring, student book clubs, and online tools which can each make reading success fun and attainable. Visit your public library (or the library website) today and learn more about programming and resources for your elementary school child. Libraries provide much-needed guidance and literacy materials that promote student reading success.The states which lead the nation in reading scores also report circulating more children’s materials at public libraries. (Source: ALA.org) Check out the example resources below, many of which may be offered by your local public library.

Reading Up and Down the East Coast

As states slowly open back up and the warm summer months begin, many Americans are itching to be out traveling and exploring again. Route 1 Reads is just the transition needed for those looking to take a road trip either physically or from the comforts of home. This partnership between the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and affiliates takes place along U.S. Route 1 which spans the eastern seaboard. Readers can pack up the reading list to take with them on their journey or follow along at home. U.S. Route 1 This United States highway is the major road that runs from the northern tip of the east coast to the southern. Also known as the longest north to south route in the United States, U.S. Route 1 runs 2,369 miles and takes travelers from North Kent, Maine right outside of the Canadian border to Key West, Florida. This highway hits most major cities on the East Coast which means those driving along it can expect to pass through Philly, New York City, Washington D.C. Richmond, and Miami among many others. This highway of history holds over 300 years of stories. In the past, this path was used by early settlers and even used by the first U.S. president to travel in times of peace and war. Nowadays, we use it to travel along the coast for business and sightseeing.