I love the idea of calendars and lists and was excited to develop a list for our family based on the Kingston-based Centre for Expertise in Family Literacy in honour of Family Literacy Week. We read a scrapbook based on things Reid has done on Monday just like my list said. Tuesday, though, was the puppet night but Reid wanted another scrapbook and we were late getting Reid to bed and so I didn’t mention the puppets again. The activity for Wednesday was making goop but we had a very slow supper and, well, no goop was made. Life interferes with my lists. I guess that is what I’m saying. And also that we’re not going to make it to the public library tonight per the list.
I *am* going to write about the library, though. Maybe that will count. The Ottawa Public Library Web presence is split in two: the libarary catalogue and the rest of the information. I spend most of my time on the catalogue site since I’m figuring out what books I have out, what fines I owe (it’s true, I do) and that sort of thing. When I was thinking of Family Literacy Week, I poked around the main site and discovered and re-encountered some good children and family literacy resources. I would encourage you to spend some time on your own library site but there are some good resources on the Ottawa Public Library site to see what you might be able to benefit from, even at a distance.
1. Every Kid a Card initiative – Encouraging children to use the library is a good thing to do in it’s own right but it’s also a bit about cash. The number of patrons affects budget decisions. Even if you’re not in Ottawa, I’d encourage you to go and get a library card for all of the people in your family. Your community will be all the better for it. If you’re a teacher in Ottawa, there is an Every Kid a Card Class Challenge running through February 28.
2. 123 Read with Me - Program to focus on infant literacy, in cooperation with the City of Ottawa, that gives new parents a cloth bag filled with information about literacy and libraries, The Incredible Directory (a parents resource list) and a certificate redeemable at any library branch for a free board book.
3. Every Child Ready to Read intitiative, there are events and resources that focus on developing 6 pre-reading skills, including: vocabulary, narrative skills, letter knowledge, print motivation, print awareness and phonological awareness. The information is presented in easy-to-understand terms and is offered for children under 2, 2-3, 4-5.
4. Ready to Read Backpack - There are a selection of books (3 English and 3 French) chosen by librarians and grouped together in backpacks that are available near the checkout at pilot libraries. I’ve signed out a backpack a couple of times and am working on a review.
5. Newsletter and Preview, a quarterly magazine – The library offers many activities, like readings by authors, educational sessions for parents, contests and others, book clubs and much more. The newsletter and magazine help to keep track of these.
6. Podcast book reviews – Librarians do book reviews for a local radio station and they post them as podcasts.
7. Study Zone – Homework resources are always welcome.
8. Kids’ site – Split into a site for kids 5 and under that offers games that reinforce pre-reading skills and a “book club” for kids 6 and over, that allows them to publish book reviews, create online word games, publish Lost Chapters to your favourite books and create quizzes about books. Unfortunately for folks outside of Ottawa, the book club requires an Ottawa public library card to participate in a some of the activities.
9. Resources for book clubs – When I belonged to a book club, we tended to spend more time eating and talking but maybe with these resources, we would have talked more about the books.
10. Library Elf – The Ottawa Public Library catalogue works with this Internet-based tool for keeping track of what’s due, overdue and ready for pickup. You can have multiple cards associated with your email and not need to worry about your kids having books long after their turn is up. Or at least you will know what books to be looking for under the bed, the couch and elsewhere.
Does your library have something that you would like to share?