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ABOUT
What & Why

Why programming for babies?
What's all the fuss about?

 

"SHARING BOOKS WITH BABIES
BUILDS THEIR BRAIN POWER
HELPS THEM LEARN LANGUAGE
PREPARES THEM TO BE READERS
CREATES A SPECIAL TIME TOGETHER"

--Minneapolis Public Library

For years, babies were considered too young for the library - especially in terms of programs. Programming would usually begin with toddlers ages 2 and up. But more and more evidence shows that babies are alert and start learning from the minute they are born. This makes these first 2 years of life a very important time to introduce babies to spoken language, sounds, books, and other emergent literacy skills that will provide them with the building blocks for later reading and writing.

There are a multitude of benefits for providing programming and services for babies in the library. Listed below are goals that programming and services to babies should strive to fulfill.

v promote literacy and the love of language

v increase interest in and enjoyment of books

v establish reading readiness, which includes understandings that:

- pictures have meanings
- pictures and words are different
- pages turn from right to left
- books have a front, back and right side up
- stories have structure and development of a sense of story

v develop and increase emergent literacy skills and vocabulary

v provide a language enriched environment

v establish routines and habits for young children and their parents

v model for parents ways to share the literature experience at home with their child

v offer a special time for parents to interact and concentrate on their baby, providing an enjoyable time to bond

v show the importance of and provide an opportunity for babies to listen, observe, imitate, and practice language while interacting with books

v display the impact parents can have on their baby's language development through singing, speaking and reading

v present an enjoyable and positive experience so that they will develop a love of reading and libraries and will eventually share that with others as they grow up and become adults

These goals should be included in all services provided for youth in the library but most specifically, for the purpose of this website, to the youngest of children - the babies - who are just being introduced to this world of language, literacy, reading, and books.


The above information taken from:

Babies in the Library! / Jane Marino. Lanham: MD : The Scarecrow Press, 2003.
Early Childhood Literature Sharing Programs in Libraries / Ann D. Carlson. Hamden, CT : Library Professional Publications, 1985.
Lapsit Services for the Very Young / Linda L. Ernst. New York : Neal-Schuman, 1995.
Every Child Ready To Read
http://www.ala.org/ala/pla/plaissues/earlylit/earlyliteracy.htm