Pandemic Problems, Creative Solutions
We recently added beautifully illustrated Spanish picture books to a new collection called the Spanish Art of the Picture Book Collection thanks to a trip to Guadalajara taken by two of our librarians. When the pandemic hit, we had to think of new ways to get these materials out to Spanish-speaking patrons, since patrons weren't allowed in our buildings, and many didn't know how to search LINKcat to find the Spanish Art of the Picture Book Collection.
To combat this, Tammy Ocampo, Youth Services Manager, and Annie Weatherby Flowers, the Community Engagement Coordinator, worked with Holly Storck-Post, the Youth Services Librarian at Pinney to pilot a home delivery program that would share the Spanish Art of the Picture Book collection with the community. They focused on using their connections with the Madison Metropolitan School District to ensure that they could reach a large group of kids and families.
The Right Books at the Right Time
The home delivery pilot launched the week of January 25th, 2021. The initial partnership connected Madison Public Library with in-home Spanish-speaking childcare providers who were part of Satellite Family Child Care. Tammy and Holly presented at a Satellite town hall and invited Satellite childcare providers to apply for the program. Once signed up for the program, providers could use their organization’s library card to request books. A new partnership with Union Cab delivery allowed the program to distribute a new box of books (many from the Spanish Art of the Picture Book collection) to each childcare provider every month.
“The books that the daycare has received are very appropriate for my group. My group enjoys looking at and having me read the stories,” said one daycare provider.
In the first week of the program, seven new organization library accounts were created, eight bins of books were delivered, and 110 books were checked out by providers! To date, 25 providers have signed up for the program, 15 of which are Spanish-speaking and bilingual daycares. Collectively they serve 74 children from birth to age nine.
Building Literacy, Strengthening Ties
One of the greatest benefits of the Home Delivery program has been the strengthening of relationships between childcare providers and the Madison Public Library. Our focus on equity has included being intentional about trying to reach Spanish-speaking communities, and this targeted program was a great way to match up a very special collection with the groups who would most benefit from and appreciate it. Holly has found the increased communication with local childcare providers highly rewarding,
“The best feedback is that these books are being loved and enjoyed,” said Holly. She received multiple notes of thanks:
- My toddlers love going to the bin to get books!
- The children love the books and also the craft envelopes
- Thank you for this service- it couldn't be more appreciated!
- Todo está perfecto gracias
- Thank you for all that you are doing. Very useful program
- Todo es perfecto muchas gracias por ayudarnos trayéndonos libros para los niños.
- Solo que Me encanta!!!! Muchas gracias Holly
- Gracias por el programa para mis niños a sido una gran ayuda por la variedad.
- Thank you we love this program
- Mi familia, los niños del cuidado y yo estamos encantados con este proyecto, gracias a todos los que trabajan para que esto sea posible. gracias!
Learning & Play Come Together
In fact, one provider has been coming up with and sharing extra-fun activities that correspond with the books that are being delivered, including creating a picture frame inspired by a book cover for children to pose with.
The Spanish Art of the Picture Book Collection, and the Home Delivery Program were both team efforts that required the help of many different Madison Public Library staff members. Without the support of staff from Technical Services, delivery, individual branches, and administration, we wouldn’t be able to share these engaging books by Spanish-speaking authors and illustrators with the Madison community. Check out the Spanish Art of the Picture Book collection here: https://bit.ly/pinneysaopb.