Daily interactions with parents provide opportunities for emphasizing the importance of:
Make sure you provide a quick tour or point out special collections to families who have identified themselves as new users. Target your interactions with all parents to meet perceived needs. Recommend nursery rhymes and songs to new parents, board books to parents of toddlers, and alphabet, counting and concept books to parents whose children will soon be attending kindergarten.
Take advantage of opportunities to feature recently published or purchased books for children or parents themselves. If you are able to get to know certain families, new materials can be targeted at their needs. For example, you know Mrs. Smith is expecting a child, you can make a point to catch the copy of What to Expect When the New Baby Comes Home (Murkoff, 2001) for her to read with her little Johnny and help prepare him for the event.
Creating topical bookmarks or lively bibliographies can be very helpful in daily interactions or can be provided to groups upon special request. They act as miniature pathfinders to materials and resources. Among the many possible subjects or issues that could be featured are:
The library can provide passive, regular assistance to adults by creating special or seasonal bookmarks/flyers such as “Great Books for Holiday Giving,” an annotated list of new or classic books which make great gifts, or “Family Audio Books for Summer Road Trips,” listing great family “read-alouds” on audio cassette or CD.
While you might not be able to make daily contact with day care providers and others who work with young children, it might be a good idea to keep them informed about library resources and services through a regular (monthly/bi-monthly) newsletter or special mailing which could include library news, upcoming programming and topical information such as that used to create the aforementioned bookmarks or bibliographies.
Periodic phone calls, attendance at meetings or site visits are other ways to keep in touch.
Regularly communicating with area child care providers or child service agencies keeps the library in the forefront and can make them regular library users.
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