2015 Summit

Ready to Read at New York Libraries logoThe New York State Library sponsored a successful Ready to Read at New York Libraries Summit at the Guilderland Public Library on March 11, 2015.  The Summit was the culmination of a year-long federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Collaborative Planning Grant awarded to the State Library in March 2014.  55 library leaders and early learning partners came together from across the State to reflect on planning year results and accomplishments, discuss next steps for implementation of New York’s Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program and work towards developing relationships that will benefit New York’s youngest learners.

In his welcoming address, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard A. Margolis enthusiastically asserted, “Ready to Read at New York Libraries is equipping public library staff with the resources, skills, and expertise to reach outside the library walls and collaborate with other organizations serving families with young children in their communities.”

Early learning organizations participating in the Summit included the National League of Cities, Reach Out and Read, the New York State Council on Children and Families, the New York State Head Start Collaboration, the Infancy Leadership Circles Project, Public Broadcasting, the Parenting Education Partnership and several others with a common interest in early literacy and learning.

2015 Summit participantsBrian Gallagher, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read, reinforced the importance of organizations, especially health services offices, partnering with public libraries when he stated, “Reach Out and Read and libraries are natural partners to encourage parents and caregivers to read aloud to their young children. Together we can reach out to all families in the communities we serve and provide them with the books and the guidance required to make reading aloud a daily routine. Giving the youngest members of our society the best chance of success is a worthwhile investment in our future.”

Attendees at the Summit also included members of New York State’s Ready to Read at New York Libraries Training Cohort, a group of 30 public librarians and youth services specialists from across the state.  All twenty-three of New York State’s public library systems were represented at the Summit. Attendees also included the project’s Advisory Group and State Education Department leaders. 

Ready to Read at New York Libraries is an initiative of the New York State Education Department designed to improve and expand the availability of high quality public library early learning services in local communities across the State. Through this initiative, families and caregivers will be provided with the knowledge needed to prepare their young children for their school years ahead.

The priority component of Ready to Read at New York Libraries through 2019 is the Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program, a train-the-trainer program that will strengthen library staff skills to ensure that families and caregivers with young children receive the highest quality services at all of New York’s 1,000 public library outlets.

The State Library also provides DayByDayNY.orga website for young children and their families with daily activities to promote early learning.  DayByDayNY includes interactive eBooks from One More Story, videos, songs, poems, literacy and health information, reading lists, a public library locator, a map of museums in New York State with activities for young children and much more.

The activities carried out by the State Library during the planning grant year were funded through a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Collaborative Planning Grant that was awarded to the State Library in March 2014. Ready to Read at New York Libraries and the DayByDayNY website are funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to the States program.

view of summit participants

Karen Balsen is the Project Director for
Ready to Read at New York Libraries. For more information,
contact Karen at 518-486-2194; Fax: 518-486-5254.
Last Updated: May 12, 2017 -- asm