Are you goin’ to the zoo tomorrow? It’s opening day! What animals do you think you will see when you are there? Make a list (you might need to ask a grown up to help)! Take your list with you and check them off as you find them.

Find this and other great activities to do with your little one on our YouTube channel or by downloading our ACPL Family app.

One Plastic Bag

plastic bagDo you use reusable bags when you shop? If you are like most Americans you don’t–the average American takes home 500 plastic bags each year totaling 102 billion! Around the world these bags cause problems from litter at the bottom of the ocean and even the peaks of Mount Everest to causing death in animals who ingest them. The new non-fiction book One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul chronicles the story of Isatou Ceesay and the women of Gambia who recycle bags into yarn and create purses by crocheting cut strips. One coin purse recycles 4-10 plastic bags!

Here is a video of Isatou making the yarn and crocheting it into bags:

Want to make your own plastic “yarn?” Here are the instructions. You can even make a jump rope and a jellyfish out of bags!
Happy Earth Day!

Talking can be used as a tool to developing your young child’s literacy base. A study by researchers Hart & Risley found a word gap of 30 million words between children from higher income families and those living in poverty. This is often a result of the use of “business talk” (do this, do that) rather than longer conversation.

“Observers found that 86% to 98% of the words used by each child by the age of three were derived from their parents’ vocabularies. Furthermore, not only were the words they used nearly identical, but also the average number of words utilized, the duration of their conversations, and the speech patterns were all strikingly similar to those of their caregivers.” —The Thirty Million Word Gap

I like meWow! That means that what you speak and how you say it will become the way your child speaks!  Talking about things beyond “business talk” will increase the number of words your child will hear. Don’t know what to say? Here is an activity you can print to use as a springboard for conversation. Fill in the sheet together with your child–you may even want to do a sheet for yourself or use this as a family activity with one for each family member! Talk about what you want to learn, what you love, like to eat, and what you like to do. What you learn might be surprising for you both! Remember–you are your child’s first teacher and your home is your child’s first school–what you say matters!

Want more early literacy ideas? Download the ACPL Family App for iPhone or iPad! You can even sign up to have early literacy tips sent to your device.

fireflyaward_1The Indiana Firefly Award is a state award designed to call attention to high quality books for preschoolers. The “short list” is selected by a committee of early literacy professionals including teachers, librarians, caregivers, and project coordinators; all are involved in early childhood development.

Here are this year’s 8 nominees:

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The purpose of this award is to encourage parents, caregivers, and very young children to interact together with exceptional picture books. The winning title is selected by Indiana children, from birth through age 5. Sound interesting? A ballot box is set up in the Children’s Services department at the Main Library — grab your little one and come downtown to vote! The last day to vote is May 10th.

Ballet Storytime was so much fun! We loved having a ballerina and a danseur from Fort Wayne Ballet visit our Storytime to help celebrate National Library Week!

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Bookmobile Day!

Fitting with National Library Week, today is National Bookmobile Day! Did you know we used to have bookmobiles? Back in the summer of 1927 the first “book wagon” brought books to kids during their vacation from school. By 1929 that summer wagon became a year round “bookmobile.” At first the books were on the outside of truck (see picture below) and were protected by glass windows. In 1931 there were 5 routes with 41 stops. Bookmobile service stopped during World War II but began again when the war ended. By 1960 there were four bookmobiles that visited both the city and county with 209 weekly stops and in 1966 there were seven bookmobiles that made 250 stops! There were bookmobiles in Allen County all the way up to 1992! Perhaps your mom and dad had a bookmobile that stopped near their house! Ask them and find out.

Our library system chose to have branch libraries rather than bookmobiles but many library systems around the country still have bookmobiles.Wouldn’t it be fun to have a library on wheels make a stop near your house each week?

The inside of a bookmobile. The walls were lined with books! The shelves were organized in order just like in the regular library.

The inside of a bookmobile. The walls were lined with books! The shelves were organized in order just like in the regular library.

The bookmobile in front of North Side High School in 1938. Schools used the public library's bookmobiles and did not have libraries in the schools at this time!

The bookmobile in front of North Side High School in 1938. Schools used the public library’s bookmobiles and did not have libraries in the schools at this time!


Bookmobiles made many stops around the city. This map shows all the stops–the small dots are all the places the bookmobile would visit!! Click on the picture for a bigger view.


A happy young woman exits the bookmobile with her choices. The bookmobile would plug into a telephone pole to provide power!

Want to celebrate libraries with a few good library books? Try these!

book dinosaur library lil
lola frog to the library our library
fox kevin first library card



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