Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Literacy Newsflash

Pixabay image
Several important early literacy news pieces and resources have been shared recently. Below are some noteworthy headlines to check out:


  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a toolkit for doctors and other health-care providers that will help them talk to parents about early literacy. The toolkit, called Books Build Connections, was released Oct. 12 at the annual convention of the pediatrician's group in San Diego. It is a followup to an AAP policy statement released in June that urged doctors to encourage parents to read, talk, and sing to their children beginning at birth. (See EdWeek for more). 

Screen Time and New Media

  1. "How best to prepare kids for the digital world," an opinion piece by Heather Hopp-Bruce in the Boston Globe offers an intriguing graphic and discussion about moving "the conversation away from how much screen time to what kind of screen time."
  2. The New York Times recently asked, "Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?" Not all of the research is in since this area is constantly evolving, but a point is made that "when it comes to learning language, researchers say, no piece of technology can substitute for a live instructor — even if the child appears to be paying close attention."
  3. Little eLit released the first chapter of their book, Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, online. This first chapter, entitled “New Media in Youth Librarianship,” was written by Cen Campbell and Amy Koester. This project has been a work in progress for some time, with many contributing authors. Subsequent chapters will be released once per month, on the 15th, until all chapters have been published at At that point, the entire work will be put into a single PDF ebook document, including appendices and other additional materials.

Research Updates

  1. You may have heard of the Colorado State Library's SPELL Project -- Supporting Parents in Early Literacy through Libraries.  A new project just got started and it's called "Putting SPELL into Action."  Check out the abstract and other SPELL documents for ideas about how to identify barriers to early literacy and library use that low-income parents/caregivers of children birth-3 face and how libraries can remove/help parents overcome those barriers. 
  2. You may also have been keeping tabs on the University of Washington’s Project VIEWS2 storytime initiative.  Project VIEWS2 was conceived in response to public librarians and library directors across the state of Washington asking “how can we know whether the early literacy focus of our storytimes makes a difference for the children’s learning to read successfully?” A host of tools that support early literacy and public libraries can be found on the resources page.