January 2009 Articles
Missy Lodge, Library Programs and Development
State Library of Ohio
As part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) State Program Report the State Library submits to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), several projects are designated as Exemplary Projects. The criteria for selection includes furthering the goals of the LSTA Five-Year Plan, an ability to be replicated or serve as a model for other areas of the state, and the impact being made on the targeted population. Clermont County Public Library was selected as an Exemplary Program for the 2008 Program Report for their “Every Child Ready to Read” project.
The purpose of this grant was to provide the Clermont County community a staff well trained in early childhood development and early literacy best practices, a collection of early-literacy materials for checkout, and programming and technology that support the development of early literacy skills. The increased emphasis throughout the state and country on early literacy skills for young children has made it necessary for childcare agencies and licensed childcare providers to focus on helping young children develop these skills. The Library was uniquely positioned to aid parents by instructing them on how to develop these early literacy skills in their children and to assist childcare providers in incorporating these skills into their classrooms.
Careful consideration was given to having a selection of titles in the Resource Collection that presented both practical ideas and educational information about early literacy to be used to enhance reading development. The Ready to Read Kits were created by a committee of youth services staff and the youth collection development librarian.
The Library and the library staff promote early literacy initiatives throughout the community and in various roles. There are two community projects that the CCPL Assistant Director and the project coordinator are involved in that have been very supportive of the Ready to Read Initiative. The project coordinator has been involved with the Early Childhood Coordinating Council (EC3) which seeks to inform and share information about early childhood services and/or issues in the county and state.
The Library’s Assistant Director is involved with the United Way’s Success By 6 Initiative in Clermont County. One of the outcomes for the project they are working on is the purchase of Early Literacy Kits modeled after the library’s kits that in-home visitation providers (Help Me Grow, etc) can bring and model to new and/or at risk parents. In addition to reviewing the kits with the parents, the providers will also distribute CCPL library card applications. In addition, Success by 6 conducted a meeting for county school superintendents to discuss early learning activities available in the county to improve kindergarten readiness. The Clermont County Public Library discussed Ready to Read. CCPL also participated in the dedication of the Born Learning Trail, a fitness trail that includes early literacy activities. The Library promoted Ready to Read at the dedication.
This project dovetails with the State Library "Ohio Ready to Read" initiative and illustrates how a library can customize both the national initiative and the state initiative to meet the local need.