How the Library Supports Early Literacy

The Seattle Public Library provides four Early Literacy programs and activities that help teach children the foundation of reading. 

These four programs are:early literacy_girl with bag

  • Raising a Reader
  • Play and Learn Groups
  • Weekly Story Time
  • Picture Book Collections

Raising a Reader:

  • A take-home book bag program created to facilitate the development of early literacy skills
  • Served 330 children in 2009

Play and Learn Groups:

  • Drop-in play groups for caregivers with children from infants to 5 years old in order to promote early learning
  • Served over 3,300 children, parents, and caregivers between October 2008 and June 2009

Story Time:

  • Story time for baby, toddler, and preschool children provided by children’s librarians and paid early childhood educators in a variety of languages including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish
  • 1,410 Story Time programs in 2009
  • 54,330 total attendance in 2009


Picture book Collections:

  • Continually enhanced collections of picture and board books for infants and toddlers that facilitate access to books for use in implementing the six early literacy skills
  • Book collections at selected branches are available in several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian.
  • Begin With Books kits for families and child care centers, as well as online collections for 24/7 access

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