By Taniah Najih | Timerland Regional Library
Families with an early learner can find a growing collection of helpful resources, programs, and materials offered by the Timberland Regional Library.
Unique book displays, books to read with narration, audio books, hours of stories, online resources, digital learning programs and more are all available with a Timberland Regional Library Card (TRL), said Kerry Martin, librarian at Lacey Timberland.
“Early literacy is strongly correlated with success in school and in adult life,” Martin said. “Parents and guardians are children’s first and best teachers, and our collections and programs are carefully researched so we can support family literacy.”
All early learning programs, resources, and materials offered by TRL are aligned with Washington State’s kindergarten readiness initiatives. An example of this would be ABCMouse, an award-winning digital education program for children ages 2-8.
“One of the most exciting digital resources for preschoolers and their families is ABCMouse,” Martin said. “ABCMouse offers a variety of learning activities in a fun, interactive format that children find engaging.”
TRL also offers a variety of digital resources, including Baby Sign Language, Jbrary, Embrace Race, Children’s Reading Foundation and several in Spanish such as Chile Crece Contigo and Colorin’ Colorado, as well as guides in Spanish.
Some of the other digital resources in the loan collection include:
- Video picture books, which can be viewed in the OverDrive collection.
- Vox Books, which offers a narrated reading experience for children, including in Spanish.
- Launchpads, which are tablets loaded with educational activities that do not connect to the Internet.
- Playaways, which allow children to access the audio version of their favorite books without connecting to the Internet.
- Kanopy for Kids, which offers a selection of movies and TV series that help children develop social-emotional skills and reinforce valuable learning topics.
As part of the library visitor experience, TRL offers the Picture Book City collection for young readers. The collection is organized thematically into “neighbourhoods” to make browsing easy and rewarding for young children.
“The goal is to encourage families to read, write, sing, speak and play every day so that children in our communities become enthusiastic readers and learners,” Martin said. “We want them to find materials they’ll enjoy reading, and our Picture Book City neighborhoods encourage children’s natural curiosity, which is an important trait that supports overall literacy.”
At the Lacey Timberland Library, the children’s area is designed to encourage imaginative play as well as family reading, Martin said. A newly painted “window” mural “overlooks” a playful woodland scene, and the books are displayed in a way that maximizes visibility and accessibility for young children.
“Play is an essential part of emotional and physical literacy,” Martin said. “Preschoolers have a lot of energy, and our space is meant to encourage kids to interact with each other, with toys, and with books.”
Lacey and other TRL locations will resume offering in-person library programs beginning in September. In-person Family Storytimes will return after Labor Day weekend, every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Lacey will also offer open play hours designed to support literacy, Martin said.