The rich offerings of e-books that can be digitally downloaded to e-readers, tablets,and mobile devices, are in high demand among DCPL users. With over 10,000 titlesto choose from, there has been an exponential increase in the number of downloadsfrom the Library collection. Almost 60,000 e-books were downloaded this past scalyear. Amazon and Overdrive, the company contracted to provide e-books to DCPL,launched a long-awaited lending program for Kindles in late September. As a resultof that and as more people use e-devices as “readers,” we expect the interest anddemand to continue to grow. In the month of September alone, 9,420 e-books were“checked out.”
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Sing Talk and Read (STAR) Workshops have begun in libraries and other locations.A grant from Better World Books is funding this effort. Leaders follow a prescribedseries of lessons for parents and caregivers that give them fun, easy skills that engagechildren, from newborns to age 3 years, and get them ready to learn how to read.The skills show how to use singing, play, talking, and rhyming as learning tools. TheLibrary’s most recent partner is the New Heights Program at the DC Public Schools,which is for pregnant teens and teens who have recently become parents. Sevenschools have either received or signed up for the program in all areas of the District.Micki Freeny is coordinating this effort.
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The Family Literacy Involvement Program (FLIP), aimed at families with childrenfrom newborn to age 8 years, granted an award to DCPL and its partner, the NationalChildren’s Museum in Maryland, for a new approach to early literacy. Washington,DC, was one of ten cities across the country whose application was accepted for funding. The proposal was submitted by DCPL’s Wendy Lukehart, Youth CollectionsCoordinator, and the National Children’s Museum. The core of the project is thecirculation of kits that contain a book, suggestions on how to engage children inthe reading experience, and instructions and materials for related activities to becompleted in the home. The Library and Museum are replicating the kits to providemultiple copies for circulation at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library and theMuseum’s Launch Zone. Major funding for this initiative was provided by theInstitute of Museum and Library Services.
The Library’s Public Services was given a needed boost in September and October with the completion of a major hiring initiative to help get ready for the threenew libraries opening in the next several months. In addition to several internal promotions, 19 of the remaining 31 people hired—61%—are DC residents. Thisreects DCPL’s ongoing commitment to the city-wide goal of providing employmentopportunities for District residents. We reached an exciting new milestone by hiringve of DCPL’s former Teens of Distinction as Library Technicians. The new staff members are assigned throughout the system for training. Welcome!