Post on social media to promote your workshops. Keep your posts short, and when possible, include a picture (from the public domain or with permission) that relates to what you will be doing in the workshop.
“Build your baby’s vocabulary, overall skills, and brain power while having fun! Come to the Mother Goose on the Loose: Hatchlings – In the Nest workshops on days,dates at time at the library. For parents with babies from birth to 4 months; call phone number today to register.”
One week later, follow up with another post:
“Have you registered yet for the Hatchlings – In the Nest workshops on days,dates at time at the library? Call us at phone number and join us for fun, early literacy building activities. Add in the information regarding who should come… parents with babies from birth to 4 months.”
One week before the workshop, post again:
“Come to the amazing Hatchlings: In the Nest workshops on days,dates at time at the library. Register at phone number and join in the fun. For parents with babies from birth to 4 months.”
Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and any electronic newsletters, library blogs or other media.
Ask your community partners to post on their social media; this has been an effective way to draw participants!
Ask library uses to share the posts on their social media accounts as well, to reach people who aren’t yet library users.
Consider translating your message into other languages used in your community and posting those as well.
Use a hashtag for your library (#[YourLibraryName]).
A few months ago, Rachel Payne at the Brooklyn Public Library asked if I would like to co-author a “First Steps” column with her for School Library Journal. I readily agreed, and here is the result of our efforts:
We have just wrapped up the first pilot year of Mother Goose on the Loose Hatchlings. The wonderful Elaine Czarnecki was in charge of all evaluations and surveys and she just sent the Hatchlings steering committee the results. Hatchlings is a winner! Here are some of the results:
Followed by this:
So our new program for working with expectant parents, and then parents with newborns really has made an impact. YaHoo! If you want to learn more, come to our presentation at LibLearnX, or at the Maryland Library Association Conference, or visit the website: https://mgol.net/mgol-hatchlings/.
In January of 2015, the first MGOL Newsletter was sent out. Since then, the newsletter is published online once a month or once every other month. It is a combination of my personal stories, relevant research for children’s librarians and early childhood professionals with phrases or sentences that can be used as developmental tips for parents highlighted. It also has lists and links to resources, comments from readers, news and ideas, a rhyme of the month, a developmental tip of the month, and other eclectic selections.
I’m reorganizing my office and going through a pile of school papers, from high school and up. One of them called “The Importance of Various Stimuli in Child Development From Before Birth to The Age of Five” has a quote in a footnote that jumped out at me:
“It is my belief that there is no “parents’ aid” which can compare with the book in its capacity to establish and maintain a relationship with a child. Its effects extend far beyond the covers of the actual book, and invade every aspect of life. Parents and children who share books come to share the same frame of reference. Incidents in everyday life constantly remind one of the other — or both, simultaneously — of a situation, a character, an action, from a jointly enjoyed book, with all the generation of warmth and well-being that is attendant upon such sharing.” (Dorothy Butler, Babies Need Books: How to share the joy of reading with your child. (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1982), p. 9.
On a totally different note, I also found a paper I wrote for driver’s ed in high school, which I have photographed and will reprint here.
My dad (who drove me while I was taking the pictures) and I sent a copy of my paper to someone in the Department of Transportation. We never heard back. But since then, as I drive in that area, I notice that there is plenty of signage for the Cross Westchester Expressway!