[kids-lib] Early literacy leaflet and making women cry

Patrick Goodman patrick at jcld.org
Wed Apr 21 16:23:20 PDT 2010

Hello Kids-lib,

    For all of you libraries without any early literacy information to
hand out to parents, here's an easily printable 3-fold leaflet that I
put together with some big help from the Multnomah Co. website and the
continued inspiration from those involved in RfHF. I have attached
both a Publisher and PDF file, so remember to change the info to fit
your library.

Now on to making women cry...

  At the pinnacle of an extremely rotten week, I was approached by a
woman from the Early Childhood Education Center in Warm Springs
Reservation who asked if I could be of any help in trying to collect
enough books for 120 children to take home for their very own. I had
recently done my quarterly weed, so I knew that I had a good number of
fair to low-quality books in relatively fair condition to give to
them. Upon delivery, I was greeted with a banner stretching across the
ECE building's entrance that read, "Thank you, Patrick."

  What a rush it was to have this kind of appreciation shown to a
librarian! Unfortunately, all I could focus on was the quality of the
books I had just delivered. But as I've stated earlier, it was a
really rotten week.

  About two days later, I was sorting through the mess that my library
lovingly calls the 'youth services archives' in the basement of our
annex, when I stumbled upon a box full of pristine books. Underneath
that box was another, and another.

  I would have thought that this was some kind of a set-up if I hadn't
found over 700 t-shirts from SRP's of yore in the same exact area a
month beforehand. So with the t-shirts in mind, I began digging
further into the mounds of boxes, discovering 6 more boxes full of
'excellent condition' books marked "give-aways," including a horde of
baby books from a long-dead grant program- a program much like the one
I've recently been developing and writing grants for.

  Too excited to keep it to myself, I called the woman- lets call her
Mary- to tell her the good news. I reckoned anyone who'd go out of
their way to hang a banner for a librarian was more than worthy of
this literary cache. And this is how the conversation went...

Me: "Hey Mary, did you receive the books that I brought?"

mary: (a bit subdued) "Yes, we did. Thank you very much."

Me: "Great, great. Well, what would you say if I told you I could
bring you another 60 or so brand new, high quality books to give to
your kids?"

Mary: "Well...well, I..."

Me: "And how about some free t-shirts? What would you say to 120 free
t-shirts for the kids?"

Mary: (begins to cry) "Well, Patrick. I'd say that you have a new best friend."

 The whole experience moved me so much, that I did the exact same
thing for the festivities held here in Madras last weekend. I should
note that I had my staff stuff each book with an Early Literacy
leaflet, and had nearly 25 more people than average attend this week's
morning storytimes; 8 more for evenings.

  I know it sounds like a whole lot of boasting, but this is one of
those times when you get instant feedback for the job you do as a
librarian, and I just had to share. So stop listening to the
stormcrows who cackle on about the death of libraries. As my wise old
Irish nan used to say, "Keep a stiff upper lip, lad, and put the
kettle on for some tea when you get the chance."

Patrick L. Goodman
Youth Services Coordinator
Jefferson Co. Library District
241 SE 7th St.
Madras, OR 97741
(ph) 541.475.3351
(f) 541.475.7434
patrick at jcld.org
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