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BC Library Conference 2020

F16 - The Roots of Reading - A digital early literacy project.

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 1:30 PM–2:15 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Meeting Room #4
Session Description

One of the main goals of the library is that families have access to programs and materials which support the literacy skills of our youngest patrons.

Storytime is incredibly valuable, and we see the results every day. However, we also know that not all families are able to attend. Sleep schedules, transit routes, and other barriers we may not know about all contribute to the fact that it is a feat just to leave the house with a baby or toddler, let alone get to a specific location on time. We wanted to expand our reach so that all families in Vancouver have access to the information they need to scaffold their child’s early literacy development.

So, we created the Roots of Reading, a digital video collection of songs, activities and early literacy information. It is available at any time for anyone with access to the internet. It is helpful for families who have English as a second language, whose children come to the library with other caregivers, and for people who may feel uncomfortable or nervous about attending a library program. This resource positions VPL as a source of literacy expertise, and introduces people to the wonderful faces of our children’s librarians, thus beginning the sense of connection people have to their library and library staff.

Libraries are increasingly moving towards offering more digital content, let’s start creating our own.

In this session, project-lead Jennifer Streckmann will discuss implementation, expected and unexpected challenges, and how your library can accomplish a similar initiative.


Jennifer Streckmann, Vancouver Public Library

Jennifer Streckmann began her career in libraries in 2013, and has worked her way through various circulation and tech positions over the last 6 years. After graduating from the University of British Columbia in 2016, Jennifer focused her career on children and families, and has been a part of exciting early literacy projects such as VPL's The Roots of Reading. Jennifer is currently working as a Children's Librarian at the Mount Pleasant branch of the Vancouver Public Library.