As part of the Children and Teens principle, one of the library’s outcomes is to focus on providing early learning experiences. The first strategy under that principle is to “enhance early literacy programs, such as reading readiness, including age-appropriate, multilingual collections.” Reading Readiness is an early literacy initiative started at the BPL in 1996. It teaches our youngest users important early learning concepts like colors, numbers, shapes, and textures within a fun and interactive environment. After many years, the program had lost its focus as each location offered a different type of early learning program.
Armed with a burst of research on infant brain development, best practices from other library systems, and additional resources from the American Library Association, a group five children’s librarians worked with the youth services coordinator to reimagine and refocus the Reading Readiness program. The enhanced Reading Readiness program at the BPL now incorporates the American Library Association and Public Library Association’s “Every Child Ready to Read” (ECRR) program – a nationally recognized framework for teaching early learning concepts – along with the “Mother Goose on the Loose” program – a thirty-minute interactive story session for babies and toddlers. All children’s librarians were trained on these new initiatives in 2014 and all locations offer a 6-8 week Reading Readiness program twice throughout the year.
Review the eight guiding principles in the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan and read the full plan, the BPL Compass.