When is the last time you talked to a children’s librarian? If it’s been a while, this is a great time to strike up a conversation. You’ll be surprised at the innovative activities, programs, and services children’s librarians offer young children, and families.

In addition to great books both new and classic, here are 5 new resources you might find at your local library:

1.  Music, DVD’s and Computer games: Many libraries are stocked with CD’s of all kind of children’s music, CD’s for the computer and educational DVD’s. 

2. Tablets and e-readers: Some libraries offer tablets or e-readers preloaded with librarian-curated content.

3. Bilingual books: Libraries often stock books in languages that reflect those spoken at homes of the families in the community.

4. Family literacy programs like:  

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) celebrates diversity through children, families, and reading every day. It culminates yearly on April 30, is often celebrated all month long, and coincides with NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child

Every Child Ready to Read, sponsored by the American Library Association helps families and teachers support early literacy development at home and at school with books and e-books.

5. Advice on new media: Children’s librarians are leaders in using new media with young children. They are up-to-date with recent e-books and apps and how to use these tools in ways that support their literacy development.

Since librarians are trained experts in evaluating and curating reading materials, they can also help you find and use the best apps, websites, and software for your children..

Library websites may also offer additional electronic resources. Many libraries subscribe to programs that feature digital books and extension activities, such as TumbleBookLibrary and BookFlix. These programs also feature books in different languages so children can have access to books on their home languages.

Adapted from "Get to Know the NEW Children's Librarian", News From the Field, 2013, Teaching Young Children 7 (2):28.