Bronwyn's Library Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Free access to knowledge - do we take it for granted?

What do we take for granted?

My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn't believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn't believe that it was free.
— Kirk DOUGLAS (1916- )

Monday, May 16, 2005

Early literacy and libraries

We face tests for literacy. We have been complaining about how no-one reads any more and we worry about out children's ability to comprehend and manage text.

I was lucky to grow up in a literature- and language-rich environment. But for those children who are not so lucky, then there are agencies and individuals stepping in to fill the gap. I am enjoying watching the groups that conduct Mother-Goose sessions and storytelling sessions where parents and their little ones get together to share the stories and rhymes that warmed my childhood. And while I would hope that schools wouldn't teach to the tests, I'm also enjoying seeing the children exposed to the types of reading techniques that I received simply by being part of a childhood where reading reigned.

The libraries I visited with my own children provided some wonderful storytelling/craft/rhyme sessions. So it was with interest that I discovered the program offered in America by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. This recognition that literacy begins from our earliest times and that we need to address the literacy of our children seriously is wonderfully reassuring.

It also happens to be a wonderful publicity programme for libraries everywhere. Babies and children will always need reading.