For Parents

Encourage Young People to Have Fun and Learn at Museums and Libraries This Summer!

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For over 100 years, one of the most popular means to keep young people engaged in reading—and enjoy it!—is the summer reading program.

youths reading

Not only are they fun, but summer reading programs (SRPs) are particularly important to a young person's continuing education, according to the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA):

Dora the Explorer Supports Family Literacy During Día Celebration

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As the nation’s population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April 30th during the national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) celebration. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the observance, also known as Día, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events.

Our Youngest Patrons

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The youth services staff of Potomac Library in Prince William County, Virginia, does programming for children in our community in order to encourage use of the library as well as develop literacy and a lifelong love of reading in our patrons. We have performers, storytellers, science enrichment programs, crafts, and story hours. One popular story program at Potomac Library is entitled “Book Babies.” This program is designed for parents and caregivers and their children ages six to twenty-four months. Together we learn about books, sing songs, act out finger plays, and play with puppets and toys. The program encourages important early childhood skills that lead to increased literacy in school-aged children.

Internet Safety, Libraries, and MySpace

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It all started with the U.S. House of Representatives passing a bill on July 26, 2006, requiring schools and libraries receiving E-rate funds (a federal initiative providing discounts to public libraries and schools on telecommunications services, Internet access, and other closely related costs) to block access to social networking sites, such as MySpace, as well as access to a wide array of other content and technologies, such as instant messaging, online e-mail, wikis, and blogs. The Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA, was the name given to H.R. 5319, which passed overwhelmingly in the House by 410 to 15. (The U.S. Senate never considered the bill.)

As is often the case, libraries found themselves in the crosshairs between legitimate concerns regarding “online predators” and access to information. In October 2006, The Illinois Library Association (ILA) carried an article in its magazine entitled, “DOPA and the Participation Gap,” sharing concerns about the disproportional effect of the legislation on lower income communities. The article offered alternative measures, such as “Basic Rules on Online Safety for Teens,” and talking points for librarians and others to use with the media, elected officials, and concerned citizens.

Harry Potter - Coming to the Libraries You Love

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It would be hard to miss the building excitement this summer as readers of all ages anticipate the release of the next – and last – book in J.K. Rowling’s series of books about the young wizard Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Couple that with a new Potter movie coming to movie theatres as well, and it’s no wonder that "Pottermania" has reached an all-time high.

Bookstores and movie theatres are clearly hoping to see record business from these releases, but local libraries are also offering ways for their patrons to celebrate the new book and movie. There are summer reading programs that include Harry Potter themed activities, and even special library or librarian blogs dedicated to Harry Potter (Enjoy the Magic of Harry Potter @ the Norwalk Public Library and Bloggin About Harry Potter from the Louisville Free Library).