Henderson County (Ky.) Public Library’s StoryWalk participants read a page from picture book Jonathan and His Mommy last summer.

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June 1, 2021

“It’s important that [kids] move, it’s important that they read, it’s important that they get outside,” says Anguish, “especially in a pandemic when nothing is the norm anymore.” StoryWalks—outdoor paths that feature children’s book pages posted at a young reader’s height and take families on self-guided storytimes—are gaining traction in communities across the US and … Continue reading Skip to the Next Page


North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library Public Services Librarian Heidi Hartke (left) and Assistant Director Jennifer Jordebrek (center) record a podcast episode with Crystal Hall, director of programs at YPN (Young Parents Network).Photo: Melanie Harrison/North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library

A Podcast That Delivers

May 1, 2019

Many studies show that when parents get involved with early literacy, a child is better prepared for school—and life. That’s why North Liberty (Iowa) Community Library developed a monthly podcast aimed at busy, expecting families. Caregivers can learn about the literacy skills kids need to succeed—such as phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and print motivation—whenever and … Continue reading A Podcast That Delivers


Chicago Public Library STEAM Team First Assistant Librarian Alejandra Santana (left) reads to storytime attendees at Bubbleland laundromat.Photo: Chicago Public Library

Front-Loading Literacy

May 1, 2019

That’s why, in 1989, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Children’s Librarian Elizabeth McChesney (now CPL’s director of children’s services and family engagement) visited a local laundromat to introduce herself to families. How she responded to what she saw there would help change the landscape of children’s literacy initiatives for decades to come. “What I saw was … Continue reading Front-Loading Literacy


Abby Johnson

Summer Reading Reboot

May 1, 2017

It’s understandable. Summer is a busy time at the public library, and repeating a program saves work, even if it’s not the best thing for your youth participants or staff. Though your plans for summer reading are probably set, now is an opportune time to take inventory of what you’re doing, what is and isn’t … Continue reading Summer Reading Reboot


Ashley J. Cooksey

Partnerships Beyond Four Walls

January 3, 2017

Sometimes collaboration is accidental. I’ve had lessons that just happened to coordinate with the curriculum. For instance, our library at West Magnet Elementary in Batesville, Arkansas, was able to give students a “virtual field trip” via live stream to see President Barack Obama answering questions at DC Public Library’s Anacostia branch. Our 4th graders were … Continue reading Partnerships Beyond Four Walls


Barbara Prince and YuChieh Chien (standing, from left) assist students in writing their first-draft letters to famous Amys at the Garfield Park Lending Library in New Castle, Delaware.Photo: Sophia Hanson

Letters to (and From) Amy

July 27, 2016

Sophia Hanson, general manager of New Castle County Public Libraries, got the idea a few months back to start a letter-writing summer program for kids called “Letters to Amy,” inspired by Ezra Jack Keats’s 1968 picture book A Letter to Amy. Hanson decided to apply for a minigrant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation—which offers … Continue reading Letters to (and From) Amy


Linda W. Braun

Using Design Thinking

May 31, 2016

What if I said that that’s not how that program—or any library program—should work? By running a program in that way you aren’t really supporting youth learning. Imagine instead if you: Start by asking youth to talk with one another, in small groups or in a full group, about what they like and don’t like … Continue reading Using Design Thinking


Jennifer Burek Pierce

All Ears This Summer

June 17, 2015

The transformation of enthusiasm into expertise on the ways that audiobooks cultivate young people’s literacy skills is of keen interest to Sharon Grover. Grover, head of youth services at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin, says audiobooks can help children and teens build and sustain vocabulary. Grover notes that this is especially important during summer … Continue reading All Ears This Summer