Jen has issued a call to arms over at her blog--she writes "What do you all say to the idea of some sort of international campaign to encourage reading aloud to kids? A campaign for literacy, if you will, but one focused specifically on the benefits of parents and teachers reading aloud to kids."
Many folks who commented mentioned the important role libraries can play in helping parents read aloud to their children. This ties in to something I've been brooding about for a while--how to raise awareness of our public libraries. Our children's librarian is on the board of our local head start, and was dismayed that about half the parents on the board with her (and these would be involved, caring parents) weren't aware that there was a library just a mile up the street and around the corner.
(Hmm. My children are demanding/asking sweetly that I read to them, and their father is out. In view of this post's topic, it would be a tad hypocritical not to agree, so I'll be back).
Back again the next morning.
So anyway. My question is--how do we make sure that more people in our communities know that our libraries exist, and that you can get books, dvds, cds, computer use for free? Not to mention the story times, book groups, and the arts, crafts, and nature programs?
One thing that I am going to be working on, in my role as president of the friends group, is to make sure that our community food bank has on hand a large assortment of children's books to give away along with the baked beans. And each book will come with a book mark, on which will be a map showing the location of my town's two libraries. I also want to make sure we have some sort of information at the local head start, and possibly more books to give away there. Our children's librarian is doing a great job of outreach at the local schools already.
Does anyone have any other ideas? I would really really love to see our library crowded with children, especially during these difficult times when budgets for small local libraries are not exactly secure.