Sample article for Growing Readers @ MHLS Libraries sessions.

Text Box: Library Letterhead







Library Storytime for Babies and Parents

Linked to Improved Language Development in Later Years


Public librarians have long known that it is never too early to expose children to books and reading. Recently a number of studies have proven that children’s earliest experiences with books are among the most significant predictors of their later success in learning to read in school. Maximizing children’s positive experiences with language and literacy is the goal of the {Program Name} at {Library name}.


“Current research has shown the importance of learning language even from birth,” said {appropriate library spokesperson}. “Recent brain research has proven the critical role of parents and early childhood care and education providers in supporting early literacy.”


Early literacy is a term that refers to everything young children know about reading, writing and the workings of language before they can actually read and write. Research has shown that when parents and caregivers have an understanding about what kinds of language activities are appropriate to use during the pre-school years, they can give children many chances to learn language skills and have a direct positive impact on later reading success in school.


Babies’ language development begins as early as one or two months old when they begin to coo, laugh, and make rudimentary vowel sounds. By seven months of age, the “babbling” sounds made by most hearing babies includes sounds of mature spoken language. By one year old, babies begin to engage in “conversational babbling,” uttering long strings of sounds as though they are speaking their own language. They may also use their hands while talking, or appear to be asking a question. By 18 months, most babies have spoken their first word, and some children may have as many as 50-60 words in their verbal repertoire by the time they reach their second birthday.

“When you observe what babies do when they begin to play with language, you see them trying to imitate the sounds and rhythms of spoken language that they hear in their world,” said {appropriate library spokesperson}. This is why it’s very important to provide many different kinds of opportunities for babies to hear spoken language.


According to {appropriate library spokesperson} early literacy activities for babies focus on developing vocabulary through reading and singing and by helping babies to participate in simple rhythmic finger-plays like peek-a-boo, so-big, and piggy went to market.    

 “Libraries have a key role to in their communities in disseminating early literacy information to parents, child care providers, early childhood educators and children’s advocates,” said {appropriate library spokesperson or local politician}. “The {Program Name} at {Library Name} is a very important contribution toward that end.”