The last time I visited the Mary L. Cook Public Library, high school seniors were there having their yearbook pictures taken amidst the construction of the new children’s room. Kelly Maloney, the new Director, shared that even though the addition has long since been completed; those young adults still come in and check on the room. Why? They helped build it. Waynesville Ohio is fortunate to possess a library that believes and acts on community engagement. As the former Fiscal Officer, Kelly has been around the library and the community and is excited about the new initiatives her team is contemplating. Kelly attends the School Board Meetings and other community meetings, to find out if the library can assist/partner as things are being discussed. This shows real commitment. Library staff work with teachers and the Director is present at the School Board Meetings. Everyone’s all in.
I wasn’t surprised when touring the Children’s room to find that their librarian had joined the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten movement. It’s simple. You have tracking sheets, prizes for reaching milestones, maybe a book bag gift to start. The idea is the brainchild of Sandy Krost of Bremen, Indiana. By putting a number on it and giving parents the explanation that it only takes about 10 minutes to read a picture book, parents understand how doable a goal it is. Parents who might need one, now have a track to run on. And it’s an easy program to monitor and alter for your circumstances. For more about 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten you might want to read Kathleen Larson’s Blog: From the Short Stacks. We’re putting together a resource page for this program so it’s good to know there is experienced library staff so close!
Photo image credit: From the Mary L. Cook's website describing the "Out of this world food contest and stargazing" program.