Reading Machines Hit The Streets
New Vehicles Offer Early Literacy Services Beyond Library Walls, at Day Cares, Preschools, Health Clinics, and More
LA County Library continually strives to find innovative ways to broaden access to library services by bringing the Library into the community. Our newest service, 2 mobile outreach vans called Reading Machines, bring early literacy and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math)-based activities outside library walls. Reading Machines took to the roads last month, and continue to expand their visits.
Reading Machine Librarians visit licensed home daycares and preschools to lead Storytimes and give early childhood service providers tools and resources to enhance their interactions, storytelling, and STEAM explorations. The visits include the lending of Storytimes Kits and STEAM Kits, with developmentally appropriate Early Literacy and STEAM activities to extend children’s learning, and support the provider’s work with children.
In addition, Reading Machines also deliver pop-up early literacy, early intervention, and play programs as they travel to locations often frequented by parents, including health clinics, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) offices, outreach events, parks, teen parenting programs, housing projects, and custody hearings at family courts.
Children who participate in Reading Machine family programs receive a board book to help build their home library. Participating parents receive a Parent Activity Kit with tools and tips designed to help identify potential developmental, cognitive, or emotional issues.
“It can be a whirlwind sometimes, but we love the children’s warm welcomes and their hilarious comments and antics (we have lots of stories!). Besides providing literacy services and sharing resources with caretakers, we like knowing that we’re sprinkling a little bit of library magic at these sites. Best of all, are the smiles from the children and adults!” says Reading Machine Librarian, Kascia Samel.
“Being able to share stories and library resources, with an emphasis on early literacy and STEAM, has been inspiring for both teachers and students. Many of them have shared their feedback on how we are making a big impact in their classrooms, and they are begging for the Reading Machine to come back every day!” adds Reading Machine Librarian, Lynn Nguyen.