The 2012 SPELL research revealed 80% of parents and caregivers who indicated a first choice for accessing library program information chose to do so on-line, on a computer. Eighty percent! Most parents and caregivers of young children look for information about library services through the library website. What will they find on your site about early literacy?
While she was a research fellow at the Colorado State Library in 2012, Vivienne Houghton examined every library website in Colorado and found that only 6% (seven out of 114 libraries) had a definition of “early literacy” on their children’s services page. Only 15% had a description of early literacy skills, and 13% explained why it is important to read aloud to babies beginning from birth. These data are three years old, and there is little doubt that the numbers have improved. What does your library's website say about early literacy? Can you improve it?
Ms. Houghton’s research and her early literacy guide inform our recommendation that your library website include as many of the following elements as possible:
1) A definition of early literacy No, parents do not have to teach their children to read!
2) A description of early literacy skills Read, Talk, Write, Sing, Play
3) Discussion of the benefits of nurturing early literacy skills in children Brain research
4) Include resources in other languages Links to websites and brochures in other languages
5) Links to videos that model songs and rhymes for parents to try Show them how it’s done!
More information and links to other libraries’ brochures and videos can be found here.
Parents and caregivers are approaching you through your website. What will they find?