This resource guide is for parents and caregivers of preschool children.
Looking for ways to make reading with your child more fun? Start with the Books & Reading section, which includes great picture books for young children and several helpful book lists.
Felt Board Stories & Finger Plays are a fantastic way to bring books and language alive for young children; use that section of the guide to learn more about both of these early literacy tools.
Have you wondered about how to do Sensory Play & Process Art at home? Go to that section of this guide for helpful information and books on both of these topics.
Use the Community Resources section for information on area support groups, classes, and agencies that can help provide assistance of all types to parents and families.
This guide is intended for parents and caregivers of preschool children who are patrons of the Harvard Public Library, which is a small public library in Worcester County in central Massachusetts. Harvard is a semi-rural town with a population of just under 6,000. The Harvard Public Library has a collection of approximately 50,000 books and in FY '17 circulation was 132,887 items, with 102,369 patron visits.
The Children's Room hosts a large number of programs for children of all ages. In FY '18, there were a total of 311 children's programs at the Harvard Public Library, with a total attendance at children's programs of 7,991. The very popular Mother Goose on the Loose/Infant Storytime for ages 0 to 2+ had an attendance of 2,656 in FY '18; the attendance for storytimes for two to five-year olds was 595.
Given the high attendance at children's programs, there is a huge demand at the library for educational materials for parents and caregivers of young children. There is only one full-time children's librarian, with three part-time children's room assistant librarians (for a total of 19 part-time staff hours), so this guide will be a supplemental educational resource to aid the children's librarian in providing services to parents and caregivers who attend storytime and use the library.
The most frequently requested materials by parents and caregivers are directions for fingerplays; suggestions of books to read to young children; assistance in how to make reading enjoyable for the very youngest children; directions for sensory play and process art; and information about community agencies that are available to provide support for parents and caregivers. The resources included in this guide reflect these particular needs of the patron population group.