Minutes: Gabrielle Wyllie (Ryde) / Mylee Joseph (SLNSW)
THEME: Early literacy – collections and connections! Attendance:
Jadwiga Krejza (Liverpool), Manjit Uppal (Fairfield City), Eleni Prineas (Willoughby), Heike Ohrmann (Rockdale), Sharon Jones (Kiama), Clare Wong (Warringah), Renea McLachlan (Holroyd), Susan Forshaw (Sutherland), Kirsty Plumridge (Holroyd), Rebecca Browning (Bankstown), Melinda Benzie (Campbelltown), Sonia Ward (Hawkesbury), Meredith Campbell (Great Lakes), Kate Campion (Hurstville), Kylie Duncan (Lake Macquarie), Carol Edmonds (Newcastle), Julie Swane (Newcastle), Martyn Killion (State Library of NSW), Michella McIntosh (Woollahra), Debbie Horgan (Greater Taree), Kate Stewart (Mosman), Anne Ronne (Lake Macquarie), Sharon McIlwee (Kogarah), Annette Alexander (The Hills), Karen Johnson (Leichhardt), Tara Cordina (Bankstown), Jessica Green (Shoalhaven), Margaret Redrup-May (Blacktown), Lee Castledine (Blacktown), Gabbi Wyllie (Ryde), Anne Pavlek (Parramatta), Lindy Batchelor (Warringah), Clare Wong (Warringah), Karen Lin (Auburn), Michelle Cairns (Ku-ring-gai), Sue Pearce (Early Words), Anne Ronne (Lake Macquarie), Judith Ridge (Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Project), Jane Moffatt (Randwick)
Debbie Best (Parramatta), Jennifer Burrell (Blacktown), David Green (Shellharbour), Rebeccah Vick (Pittwater), Mylee Joseph (SLNSW), Nicole Powell (City of Sydney), Melinda McNaughton (Sutherland), Sharon Smith (RRL – Wagga)
Meeting chairperson: Margaret Redrup-May (Blacktown)
Guest Speaker: Sue Pearce, Early Words -- Early Literacy project http://www.earlywords.info/ | ph: 9831 1099
Challenges & issues of early literacy
Understanding the critical importance of early literacy
Does the community know about early literacy and what it means?
Do parents understand the importance of literacy before schooling?
Do parents understand their role as a teacher prior to schooling?
Understanding that the level of education of the mother is the major influence on a child. So bringing more mothers into the library is essential.
Parents are time poor and can be disconnected from the extended family for support.
The role of the Early Words Program
To help parents prepare their children before school for the world of reading and writing.
distribution of DVDs, information sheets etc. to parents within the Western Sydney district. (Sue showed the DVD that gets distributed to parents.)
Tip sheets in community languages http://www.earlywords.info/materials.html#tips
Community Literacy Projects: Paint the town READ [how can libraries effectively participate in community literacy projects: successful partnerships | effective promotion & publicity | sponsorship success]
Program based on ‘Paint the Town Read’ Birth to Kindergarten program in Parkes. The program started in Parkes over 10 years ago and received Families NSW funding to take it across western NSW a few years later.
It is now growing rapidly in western Sydney in Families NSW community hubs
To raise the value of literacy within the community. The program encourages the whole community to support the development of children’s early literacy skills from birth, so they will be ready for reading and writing at school. This mainly occurs through talking, singing, reading and drawing with children. This solid foundation is vital for learning literacy skills at school, which in turn is pivotal for employment and adult life success. Because the program builds on people’s strengths and creativity, anyone in the community can contribute.
Organisers can grow the program to whatever size and type suits their own community – from rediscovering nursery rhymes in local playgroups to annual reading days where community leaders read to preschoolers.
Paint the Town Read initiative in western Sydney, contact Barbie Bates at barbara.bates@ community.nsw.gov.au.
For anywhere else in NSW and to find out about program starter kits, contact Rhonda Brain at email@example.com.
Paint the town READ – Holroyd Library: Kirsty Plumridge
Partnership with council’s Community Services
Program mascot is a possum called Poppy. They held a competition to name the mascot and make the community aware of their program.
Poppy the Possum visits local childcare facilities with library staff to promote the program and do a storytime. Poppy also attends the local festivals.
Flyers are sent to schools, shopping centres etc.
Holroyd were able to coordinate with their local McDonalds to get them to incorporate their flyers into their placemats.
Paint the town READ– Parramatta Library: Anne Pavlek
Coordinate and partnership with all levels of council.
Main steering organisation of the program is their local Migrant Centre.
Local community businesses involved as well.
Mascot is Readasaurus.
Held a Reading Day over 2 days.
Migrant Centre organised children centres to visit local businesses including local bank, butcher and then the library where they read a book.
This was held in the main branch library 1 day and at a branch library the next.
Q. How did you get funding for the event?
Food for the day was a small cost.
Craft materials were already purchased.
Migrant Centre received funding for giveaway packs, logos etc
Q. Was there any issues with councils OH&S and risk assessment guidelines & Working with Children Checks?
A. No, it wasn’t taken into consideration at this time.
Q. What is the role of NGOs?
A. Mostly used as an organiser and steers the Paint the Town Read committee. This way they take more ownership of the program. They also tend to have more influence in obtaining better funding for programs.
Q. Does the mascot read the stories?
A. No, she listens and interacts with the children only.
Q. How long does the program last for?
A. It’s an ongoing program.
Q. How long was the lead time for your launch?
A. Kirsty – we had a very short lead time due to many circumstances, this was extremely stressful and not recommended.
A. Anne – Parramatta had nearly a year lead time which was more appropriate timing with the organisation.
Benefit to the library.
Recognition by council.
Outreach – what do you do? Sutherland Library: Sue Forshawsforhaw@ssc.nsw.gov.au
Sutherland visits 7 different childcare centres over the year to promote and talk to early childhood groups about the importance of early literacy.
Q. Have you had any statistics on parents visiting/joining the library?
A. Not formally, we often get anecdotal stories from staff.
Q. Have you any formal evaluations from the visits to the childcare centres eg. literacy levels of children before and after?
A. No, in terms of the outcomes, it’s hard to judge.
Sutherland also hold a formal lapsit program. It’s a 4 week program for a smaller number of babies and parents for ages 6-8 months.
They also run 9 drop-in session of baby rhymetime for ages 0-2yrs.
In 2002 the brochure was produced and the program has continued to grow.
They run a Baby Book Time Workshop that runs for 4 weeks for 0-2yrs.
The program is designed to give parents an opportunity to share and experience the love of reading with their baby. The program will also give parents practical ideas for using stories, rhymes, songs and music to help babies develop early literacy skills.
They receive funding for resources and baby book packs.
In the warmer months they run the sessions in the evening to encourage Dad’s to come.
They are also investigating Saturday sessions.
Q. Are you evaluation your sessions?
A. Yes, we often give out surveys but also we listen to parents and staff stories as well.
NB: Any libraries that have evaluation forms of some kind to provide them to the working group.
Greater Taree Library: Debbie HorganDebbie.Horgan@gtcc.nsw.gov.au
Obtain funding from Mission Australia.
Use the 10 minutes a day program.
Have a large Indigenous community and will be looking into the Early Word Indigenous resources. http://www.earlywords.info/aboriginal/
Blacktown Library: Lee CastledineLee.Castledine@blacktown.nsw.gov.au
Running training courses for community workers to run baby rhymetime (Lee to discuss later in the meeting)
Training UWS students who need to do 30 hours of community services for their teaching course.
They currently have 25 students who will be trained for storytimes, rhymetimes throughout the week and weekends.
Riverina Regional Library: Sharon Smith (via email)Smith.Sharon@wagga.nsw.gov.au
As the only CYS Librarian for 9 LGAs (12 stationary libraries and 1 Mobile) with many kms between and in some cases the minimal opening hours of the smaller libraries, I focus on trying to assist the branches to be proactive in their communities, to empower them with the confidence to get out there themselves, and when they need me to be there I will be.
I suppose we should determine what we want to gain from Outreach opportunities. Is it trying to increase awareness of library services so that more people come to the library, is it about improving literacy or is it about being a service (entertaining or learning) to our community organizations?
The main difficulty we find at RRL, besides the kms, is that most of our libraries have only one or two staff members so Outreach becomes an exercise in creative time and staff management. Remembering also that each stationary library is responsible for towns with playgroups and preschools that are even further kms away, if the library has no pool of assistance then basically Outreach relies heavily on keeping communication channels open with their playgroups and preschools with invitations to the library for specially organised events for them.
One of our recent Outreach programs was organised to try to encourage more attendance at our reasonably new Culcairn Library. This library is a council/library combination open 6 days a week with only a part-time library staff member. The Librarian organized a Storytime presentation to over 30 kids and attending carers and teachers at the local public school's new library. I had a wonderful time presenting and all the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves. All was positive at the time ... BUT ... attendance at the library storytimes did not increase. We determined that, because this was prepared for school and preschool, there were not enough adults present to inspire.
On the positive side the Culcairn Librarian and myself inspected the new school library, we further developed the library's relationship with the two schools and the local preschool and we have increased their staff awareness of what both their local library provides and the greater network available to them through RRL.
We still want to accomplish our first goal so we are toying with the idea of an event in the park with our huge parachute and iced donuts, to try to be more visual to the community.
The old Culcairn Library had never had large numbers to storytime and it might be a community mind set so after this next attempt I think we will just give it a rest for a year and put some more creative thought into it.
I look forward to hearing about more creative ideas for Outreach opportunities especially when libraries have minimal time and staff.
Judith Ridge, Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Project Judith.Ridge@blacktown.nsw.gov.au
The Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Project is a ArtsNSW funded program.
It has been running for 4 years.
The Western Sydney Young People’s Literature Project engages children and young people in Greater Western Sydney with reading for pleasure and writing and illustration for creative expression. It encourages an appreciation of story and storytelling in a variety of forms and promotes understanding of the importance of books in the lives of young people.
The Project is hosted by Blacktown City Council and services the entire Greater Western Sydney region – 1.8 million people in the 14 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, The Hills and Wollondilly.
The Project fosters the culture of reading and writing in this area through a wide range of activities including workshops, author residencies and professional development. It supports emerging writers and illustrators from the region, and promotes the stories of the communities of Western Sydney and the places they come from.
They run programs through schools, libraries and through their own centres.
They run programs including art, creative writing, author talks.
They have worked with Early Words, Paint the Town Read programs.
How do you get an author into your library?
An author will approach the library.
A publisher will approach the library.
Library approaches the author.
Library approaches a publisher.
When an author or publisher approaches a library questions have to be asked.
Why have this author?
What do we want to get out of the talk?
Are they appropriate for our demographic?
Authors are usually out there to promote their books in which case they may not have a speakers fee. However the library may be asked to provide a bookseller to sell their books.
If the author is providing a workshop they will often have a fee.
How to make an author/illustrator talk successful?
Identify the right author for your area, age group etc.
Speakers agencies eg. Lateral Learning
You can also contact Judith for advise and suggestions.
Make sure you communicate with the author/illustrator for exactly you want them to do eg. book talk or workshop.
Check transport issues with author in case they need to come via pubic transport or cab.
Have a detailed program and information for the author if the event is over a few days eg. local information, age group
Have Welcome poster and promotional information about the author. Make sure that other promotional posters for other visiting authors are taken down.
Introduce author to the Library Manager.
When introducing the author to the audience make sure you are familiar with them and their work.
Check whether equipment is needed.
Tea, coffee, lunch etc. provided.
Be aware of self published authors, they may have no experience in public speaking especially when it comes to talking to young people.
Other things to consider:
Publishers will often send promotional flyers/posters etc. for the talk.
To check authors fees you can visit The Australian Society of Writers website.
A4 craft challenge:
All meeting participants were challenged to bring along an A4 template for a storytime craft – it must be simple to make and fit on a single A4 page. It can be original or a copy from a book of blackline masters (citing the source and make sure it’s copyright OK of course!)
1st prize: Manjit Uppal (Fairfield)
2nd prize: Sharon Jones (Kiama)
3rd prize: Karen (Leichhardt)
Honourable mention to: Sue (Sutherland)
Story time heroes – the books [Show and tell successful read aloud stories recommended by meeting participants]