Blog Archives

The IMLS Growing Young Minds report, by Claudia Haines

In its recent call to action, Growing Young Minds : How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners, the IMLS identifies ten key ways libraries and museums can use their valuable roles to further community efforts in early literacy. As cornerstones or their communities large and small and trustworthy resources, libraries and museums are in a unique position to invigorate and foster new ways to boost literacy. The report recognizes this and includes examples of dynamic ways both kinds of organizations are making it happen.

If you’re wondering how new media is reflected in the report, check out #6 in the ten ways museums and libraries support community efforts. What’s missing? How public librarians can positively influence the use of digital media in literacy, along with their school counterparts.

Claudia Haines, Little eLit Curation Coordinator
Youth Services Coordinator
Homer Public Library

Idaho Libraries Commission

In a conversation with Lisa Guernsey today I learned about the Idaho Commission for Libraries Routes to Reading program which is an IMLS and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation funded extension of their state-wide Read to Me program. Here is some information about the program.  What’s especially interesting to me is the online storytelling component (National Film Board of Canada!!!!) and their partnership with TumbleBooks (also Canadian… hm…. Bibliocommons = Canadian. Perhaps it is time for me to go back home, given that my fellow Canadians seem to be taking over the library world?)

Books to Go Program

By partnering with Head Start, developmental preschools, child care centers, and home-based child care providers to place Books to Go at these locations, parents and caregivers will have convenient, continuous access to pre-packaged books. The bags contain age-appropriate quality books and an early literacy handout that corresponds with the titles. Child care providers will be able to use the books and materials throughout the day and parents will be able to check out “Books to Go” when they pick up their child. Public library staff are encouraged to start contacting potential sites in their communities now. A simple application asks for names of community sites and a commitment from libraries to collect evaluation data and check in with partners throughout the year. We plan on sending at least 50 to 75 Books to Go starter kits to libraries in December 2012 or January 2013. Library staff will then take these kits to their community partners. Another large shipment of starter kits will be ready to place at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. By the end of the grant program, 250 sites statewide will have access to the program.

Idaho libraries are encouraged to apply for the new Books to Go program now! Apply at

Implement a statewide “Storytime Online” and TumbleBooks™ for all public libraries

Many families and child care providers are not able to attend library storytimes. This will bring storytimes to them by creating a parent-friendly website with access to TumbleBooks™ in English and Spanish, daily activities to develop early literacy skills including fingerplays and songs modeled in video clips, and other educational information. This new “” site will be a great resource for Idaho families, librarians, and caregivers.

ICfL staff are currently working on a three-year contract with TumbleBooks to provide access to their ebooks through every Idaho public library website. We hope to be able to answer questions about crediting accounts for those of you who already subscribe and other implementation issues soon. We have set a November 1, 2012 target date for having this additional access point to books available. Funding will also be available to
help promote this valuable service.

Communication, Collaboration, and Coalition Building

ICfL will work with libraries and community partners to increase awareness of the valuable role libraries play to ensure children begin school with a strong foundation of early literacy skills. ICfL will facilitate a minimum of four meetings throughout Idaho to build local coalitions and ensure that the projects started with the grant are sustainable at the community level. Library staff and their community partners will collaboratively examine the results of grant projects, build on successes, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Years 2 and 3 of the grant includes working with a media firm to develop a coordinated, consistent message in English and Spanish that libraries and partners can utilize.

Stay tuned for more details or contact any member of the Read to Me Team if you have questions about how your library can get involved! We hope to have at least 25 libraries apply for the Books to Go route in October and November.