Early Childhood Outcomes/Learning:
Exploring Ideas & Potential
Public Libraries have always been aligned with learning, literacy and education. As ALA said in its 2009 Congressional Testimony regarding children’s literacy skills, “(Librarians)… regularly aid teachers in building students’ research and information literacy skills; they possess deep knowledge of adolescent literacy development; and they are the absolute best resource for ensuring that schools have a wide variety of reading materials that students both need and want to read.
The public library is the community’s center for early literacy coaching for parents and child-care providers.” In the Newman Report for Ontario’s Ministry of Culture Wendy Newman stated that one of the key policy themes with particularly high potential to advance Ontario’s interests and priorities in the knowledge-based economy to 2020 is early childhood learning. Many communities have partnership programs to support “healthy child development”. This Idea Forum will explore if and how public libraries are or should be involved, and how this will “improve urban library service.”
The agenda will be guided by these questions:
- What’s our definition of “early childhood outcomes/learning” for this forum? How do you define this topic in your library and/or community?
- How is this topic addressed in your community now?
- What are the desired early childhood outcomes for a community?
- Where do – or could – public libraries fit in these outcomes or in this learning model?
- What, if anything, can CULC/CBUC contribute to the early childhood outcomes that will improve urban library service in Canada?”
These Forums don’t have a speaker to initiate discussion; you, the participants initiate your conversations and my role is to guide the ebb and flow of the conversation. To prompt your thinking, here are a few resources:
Resources to read or scan: (these sources are related to public libraries)
- Proposal to “Leave no Library Behind” in the “Leave No Child Behind” Campaign
- Overview of Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® by Elaine Meyers and Harriet Henderson
- Early Learning Initiative for Wisconsin Public Libraries by Barbara Huntington, Youth and Special Services Consultant – this gives an excellent overview of the background and rationale.
- ALA’s Nov 2009 Testimony to Congress on Libraries Role in Improving Literacy Skills of Children and Young Adults
- Public Library Service to Children and Teens: A Research Agenda by Virginia Walter in Library Trends Spring 2003
Other sources to consider: (these are a sampling of community agendas regarding early childhood outcomes – see how/if public libraries are involved)
- Canadian Network for Leadership in Education and Early Learning & Care
- Our Best Future: Early Learning in Ontario
- Understanding the Early Years Initiatives – a federal program managed by HRSDC.
- With the Best Future in Mind
- Understanding the Early Years: Regina
- Understanding the Early Years: Halifax
- Early Education Commission & United Way of Atlanta: A community leadership collaborative supporting the United Way’s goal of ensuring children are ready for school Introduction/Highlights: Brain Development Research
- Thinking Strategically Critically Seeing Possiblities slideshare from Rebecca Jones