The Youth Services Advisor supports
library service to children, teens and families through consultation,
professional development opportunities, and coordination of statewide
initiatives. She also shares information
on best practices and national initiatives among other topics via the
Compendium and the Youth Services List. Currently, the main areas of development
focus on summer reading, early learning and STEM.
Early Learning has two major initiatives
One Book, Every Young Child
The One Book, Every Young Child program goes
far beyond just asking parents and caregivers to read a book to preschoolers.
The program's design is based on studies showing that simply reading a book is
not enough. Adults must find ways to engage children in activities like talking
about a book's cover and illustrations, discussing the action in the book and
favorite parts, pretend play related to the book, and more.
Pennsylvania's public libraries are
passionately committed to strengthening children's early learning. The Cruise
into Kindergarten initiative is designed to provide a recognizable umbrella for
the libraries' early learning programs and outreach throughout the state.
Pennsylvania belongs to the Collaborative
Summer Library Program. The State
Library provides a manual full of activities and inspiration to all public
libraries each year. It also supports
workshops for library staff that offers programming ideas, outreach strategies
and marketing ideas each year.
Pennsylvania libraries have a long history of
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming. The state was a pilot state for a program
created by the Vermont Center for the Book entitled What's the Big Idea?: Making Math and Science Come Alive for Children and
Families in Your Library. Libraries
continue to work with the Lunar and Planetary Institute to provide space
science programs for school age children and teens. Materials for Block Parties have been given
to 65 libraries across the state since 2013 and more will be available through
2016. Many libraries do not have the
space to host Block Parties so a program called Wee Build has been created to
fit in small libraries. Maker spaces are
becoming more popular and interest adults and youth alike.