With this edition of the Social Library, we're shifting to a bimonthly series but continuing to highlight the outstanding work of libraries we follow on Facebook. This edition showcases libraries and organizations who are doing great work supporting early literacy efforts in their communities. Community partnerships are key to the success of many of the examples highlighted, with programs, tools, and resources sure to inspire all who serve young learners and their families. If you'd like to see your library featured in the Social Library series, please let us know via email@example.com, or find us on Facebook.
- Bluffton Public Library in Ohio hosted their first Family Connections Coffee Morning for their community, inviting kids, along with their parents, grandparents, caregivers, and others, to meet with childcare and child development experts from the local area. They posted photos of the event, which included representatives from child development centers, preschools, Bluffton Pediatrics, the county health department (with WIC), as well as the local elementary school to talk about kindergarten registration.
- The Twinsburg Public Library in Ohio shared the wonderful School Library Journal article, Ohio Storytime Turns Into Life-Changing Program for Low-income Families by Katie Johnson, their youth services manager. Their unconventional yet hugely impactful outreach grew from a pop-up story time hosted outside the library, in an unused room in the local subsidized housing complex. Over time, the library team, in collaboration with multiple community partners, have begun to tackle the challenges that families living in poverty encounter, related to "employment, education, transportation, healthy food, proper healthcare, access to preschool, even reliable phone service."
- The Naperville Public Library in Illinois shared this wonderful video featuring Margo Burkhardt, their children's services associate, as she practices farm animal sounds to help kids practice early literacy skills. Videos can be a great way to expand beyond storytimes, bringing early learning to families on-demand, available to access when most needed.
- Southern Lehigh Public Library in Pennsylvania shared Unite for Literacy's post Simply, Calmly, Read and Talk, on the importance of pairing dialogue with reading. And if you're not familiar with United for Literacy, they provide access to a free digital library of original, non-fiction picture books to support beginning readers of all ages. Each digital picture book includes narration, with the option to select from a multitude of narration languages.
- San Francisco Public Library's Eureka Valley Harvey Milk Memorial Library is hosting the Easter edition of their Drag Queen Story Hour for Kids. The library partners with RADAR Productions, a non-profit group giving voice to queer writers and artists, who present a unique and unforgettable story hour, featuring face painting and cookies! There is a wonderful story with photos from previous story hour editions on SFGate.com.
Thanks to all of this week's featured libraries for such outstanding service to your communities!