[Michlib-l] Books for Babies/1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Alisha Daugherty alimcc87 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 27 09:33:46 EDT 2016

For those who asked, here's the responses I got for 1000 Books vs. Books
for Babies.  Thank you all for taking the time to share with me; it's been
extremely helpful.  I will let you know how it goes here once we have it
off the ground and running!

We just started our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program on October 3rd (
www.tadl.org/1000books). We had done it at my previous library, the
Westland Public Library, and I thought that Traverse would be a great place
to start one with all of the kid- and early literacy centered organizations
around here. We've had great support by our patrons and also many local
organizations including Born to Read and many of our local teachers.
Preschool teachers seem to be the best advocates for this program (well, in
addition to your storytime programs). So far, we've had over 80 families
signup at our (main) branch and over 120 in our district. We are lucky to
have a marketing manager who is awesome at putting our message out there
and connecting us to media resources.

In terms of Youth Services staff, our main job has been stuffing envelopes,
promoting in our storytimes, and recording the numbers on a spreadsheet (we
use Gmail as a library and record ours currently in Google Sheets). We put
up some posters from Demco and decorations for families to record their
children's name(s) on. I've attached our promotional posters and book logs
(1000 Books is an organization and will send you logos to help promote the
program, too).

We have been partnering with our local Zonta group for many years on a
Books for Babies program.  The Friends of the Library buy age appropriate
board books – lately we’ve been ordering in bulk from the Book Depot when
we find a good title or two.  Zonta fundraises and solicits donations for
printed plastic bags.  The bags, which include the book, a brochure with
information about the importance of early literacy and a list of local
organizations that offer programs for children, sometimes a gift (teething
ring, bib, etc) from the local Great Starts Initiative, a child development
wheel provided by our ISD and whatever else good that comes our way free of

Members of the Friends and Zonta get together a couple times a year at the
library to pack bags.  A Zonta member keeps them at her home and deliveries
about 30 at a time to our hospital whenever they call to say stock is
running low.  We haven’t had much direct response from the recipients, but
it is a good community collaboration project that we HOPE is introducing
moms to the importance of early literacy.


At the Detroit Public Library, Main Library do 1000 Books Before
Kindergarten. We have 3 full time librarians and are open 44 hours a week.
In October 2015 we got the OK to open the Children's section from 10-Noon on
Tuesday and Wednesday JUST for our storytime program, the resto of Main is
not open until Noon. We do storytime every day Tues-Friday morning from 10:30
a.m.-11:00 a.m. Different age levels are the focus on separate days
Tuesday- Babies, Wednesday- Toddlers, Thursday age 3-4 Friday-Preschool. We
provide age appropriate stories then have play time with educational toys
games/crafts, snack until Noon. We bought a lot of toys from Constructive
Playthings catalog.

We use the Rangerland Jr 1000 Books Before Kindergarten booklet to give the
program a focus. Parents register with a registration form we made up for
each child. Each child gets a Rangerland book for parents to record books
listened to at storytime, at home, etc....O.K. if the titles repeat. After
each 100 we give them a sticker (little gold stickers come with the books)
and a free book we order from First Book or other donations of free books
or coloring/activity books.

We started the program last October and have seen attendance grow even with
all the construction going on in Midtown! Parents and children enjoy
meeting other families from the area. They especially enjoy play time. This
has been a great way to get new customers into the Children's Library to
get library cards and check out books.  We provide information on the games
play and offer information about other activities going on in the area.
There are special programs once a month such as Yoga for preschool age
children and parents, Mad Science of Detroit, live animal show, magician,
storytellers etc... On Saturdays we provide a free art program for ages 4-7
through ProjectArt so some of our Early Literacy program children attend
this also!

This month we tried a "Page to Stage" Program where the library bought and
give tickets to the Alice and Wonderland production at Wayne State. We
purchased giveaway Alice in Wonderland, Little Golden Books to give
families who registered for the play. The families met us at the theater
for a small reception and the production!

Mainly one librarian does the storytimes. The children get used to her and
look forward to seeing her! All the librarians fill in when she is not at
work. Together we brainstorm to develop themes and collect books and
activities for each week/month. We plan to fill boxes or totes with each
theme for easy/repeat use. Hiring guest presenters gives the librarian a
break once in a while and gives customers something extra!

I don't have much on the ground information from our library yet, but
within the last week we've just kicked off 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
here in East Lansing. The planning was really smooth -- mostly just
figuring out how we want to structure rewards, monitor sign-up, and start
getting the word out. I'm anticipating / hoping that it will be a minimally
time intensive task for our circ staff, who handle the sign-ups and prizes,
although I know there will be a learning curve. We got a grant from our
local rotary club to purchase supplies (mostly the rewards, but also some
things like folders to hang out at sign up, etc., but on the whole it
hasn't been too spendy, at least so far -- I'll be interested to see what
pace we end up going through rewards. Our Friends of the Library also
agreed to donate materials from their book sale, so at 500 and 1000 books
kids get to pick out a free book from what they have in stock in their
children's section.

I do know that several other libraries near us (Delta and DeWitt I believe)
have had really good luck with their programs, and lots of motivated
participants, so I think that bodes well! I believe several Great Start
agencies around Lansing have partnered with their local libraries to make
it a team effort, and while we haven't pursued that yet here, it might be a
good option!

Just let me know if you have any questions I could potentially answer (even
though I'm still figuring it out myself here).

My library started the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program in May 2016
and had our first finisher in August. It requires very little time on
staff; we promote the program and assist with sign up and simply hand out
the prizes per every 100 books read and take a picture when they reach the
1000 goal and get the free t-shirt prize.

The hardest part we’ve found and parents remembering to log in the books
they’ve read on their child’s booklet and bringing it back to the library
to get the prizes.  Sign up is great, following through on parents end not
so much. But we keep trying.

With the 1000 Books option, it is copyrighted and patent so you need their
permission to use that phrase if you choose that option. You simply email
them and they respond they have you listed on their site and then you’re
authorized to use their phrase, logos, etc.  They also sent me 2 copies of
their “1000 books before kindergarten’ story book they have; parents  here
have seen  that on display and then ask about the program.

I say it’s a simple very little daily work required program; biggest part
is promoting it.

We just started offering the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program on
1st. We have a very passive program. We set up a display, hung posters, and
modified the generic recommended reading list to only include titles we own
(so took some out and added some). All we ask the
to do is register their child and then we give them the first record to
track 100 titles. Then when they fill that up, they bring it back, we mark
it off on our master record, and give them the next sheet. I think we also
give the kids a few stickers to get them excited and we have certificates
for whenever they actually complete the program. But that's about it.

It's generated a little bit of buzz, but not much. I think there are six
kids registered so far (approximately the same number as attend storyhour).
We've already had a patron volunteer to sponsor it if it gets really
popular and we need some more funds   And there's been some rather confused
questions from (mostly older) patrons who think the kids have to read the
1000 books themselves before(?) Kindergarten ends...but once we explain
it's recommended to start at birth and one a night or five a week will see
the challenge completed with time to spare, you can see the light bulb turn
on and it prompts reminisces about reading with their kids or being read to
by their parents.

I see us offering this for the long-term, just another service,
and hopefully eventually known well enough that when babies are born their
parents will stop in and register them...that's my hope anyway!

We are just starting some programs targeting preschool including 1000
books. I will let you know as we progress, I would appreciate if you would
share any tips anyone shares with you and I will do the same.

We have 1000Books at our library. It is one of the easiest to run and have
approximately 100 families signed up. Every month more join. It is very

We just started 2 weeks ago with the program.

Here some info about us.  Our library serves about 7,000 in a small bedroom
community in between Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo.  We have a coordinated
effort for our whole county (Allegan).  We received support from our
Allegan County United Way for funding for materials including tracking
sheets, progress bookmark, brochures, and bags to give away all with a farm

Each library can do it how they want.  This is what we are doing-especially
keeping staff in mind because once you start, it's the never ending program.

We purchase a storage container for behind our circ. desk
detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.  Basically it's a hanging file for ease
of access for our tracking sheets etc.

For sign up parents receive a tracking sheet for the first 100 books-all
they need to do is check off a "cat" each time they read a book.  It can be
the same book over and over, books from their collection, books from the
library.  Since this program is for children not in kindergarten, if their
child attends a preschool program and attends a library programs, the books
their count too. They also received a tri-fold brochure explaining the
program. On our end, we get out a progress bookmark, write the child's name
on the back (last name first), write the parent's phone number, then year.
We keep this behind the desk in the storage container and as they complete
a sheet of 100 books read, they add a sticker to they progress bookmark,
then receive their next sheet.

We are giving away incentives.  After the first 100, they receive a bookbag
that say I read a 1,000 books.  This was suggested to be given away at the
completion of the program, but we decided it would help parents remember
they are participating and they could bring their library books back and
forth in it.  After 500, we will give a coupon away to our local grocery
store for a free cookie.  At 1,000 they will receive a shirt that says I
read 1,000 books before kindergarten.

We also purchased a vinyl banner on line to put on the wall at our circ
desk to show the public the progress of our participants and to create
conversation and reminders of the program.

Your staff at the circ desk is your front line, so they have to be
enthusiastic and sales people to your patrons as they check out.  We are
putting out weekly reminders on our library Facebook page, it's on our
website, and we are fortunate to have a great relationship with our local
public schools.  The schools allowed us to attend parent/teacher
conferences with a table in the hall to promote the program and they sent
out the info on Peachjar-an email program they use to send out info to the
parents in they school district.  They also put a link on the school's
website under the Early childhood tab.  This program potentially effects
them too.  They were happy to do it!

Sorry to go on and on, but I think it's an awesome program.  We're
concerned how to keep it fresh and remind those who some how didn't get
reached by our initial launch and move into the community over the next few

If you should have any questions please contact me.


Click on our 1,000 Books link.

Our partner is:


Not staff intensive.

Parents respond....but find it hard to write and keep a record.

We are flexible.  Write it once...draw a line the next 20 times you read it
this week.  :)

Have 3 kids under kindergarten?  Use one book for all three...still get
three prizes...

That kind of flexible...

I'm glad to answer more specific questions beyond that too.


We are a level four library, serving a population of 23,000. About 25
families are currently working their way through the program.  It is not
much work at all:  we have copies of the logs on hand, we bought stickers
to give out when completing a set; our local literacy group has given us a
prize bin and the books to go in it.  For every 100 books read, the child
gets to pick a book from the bin.  I keep track on a master list which
takes me about 15 minutes a week.  Really easy and the kids love it!  I
hope this helps.

On Sat, Oct 22, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Alisha Daugherty <alimcc87 at gmail.com>

> Hello!
> Does anyone offer either Books for Babies or 1000 Books Before
> Kindergarten at their library?  I'd appreciate any insight or observations
> you may have about either!  How time-intensive is it for staff?  Do patrons
> respond to it?  Any thoughts (off-list is fine) would be greatly
> appreciated!
> Thanks so much,
> --
> Alisha Daugherty
> <alimcc at umich.edu>

Alisha Daugherty

<alimcc at umich.edu>
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