Memorial Day Closure

HPL and HPL Express are closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. 

Celebrating 24 Years in First Grade Classrooms

In November, HPL Children’s Room staff began their 24th year of visiting first grade classrooms of public and private schools. This early literacy initiative started in 2000 as a way to reach out to community elementary school students and their families, explains Julie Westby, HPL Youth Services Librarian. “We thought first grade was a great grade level for the visits since these kids are just starting to read on their own,” she says. “Our hope for these visits is that kids and their families will learn about the library and come and visit us.”

Library staff begins each visit by sharing a story called If You Take a Mouse to the Library. The story, based on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff, was created by HPL Youth Services staff members and follows Mouse as he enters the library, signs up for a library card, and enjoys a variety of fun activities in the HPL Children’s Room, like meeting Jamila and Spotty, the HPL resident giraffes, finding a new book, and spending some time on the KidSpace computers, Julie explains. Staff then shares basic library information, such as details about the three locations and types of materials available for checkout, as well as reads another book or two with the children. “We try to use newer books published in the past year,” Julie notes. “Over the years, teachers have commented how much they appreciate seeing books that they may not have yet seen.”

Each first grader is left with a take-home bag (this year’s features literary characters Elephant and Piggie) that includes a letter to caregivers about HPL, a library card application, and a flyer explaining the organization of our Easy Reader collection. The goody bag also includes a sticker, bookmark, and a pencil. All printed material is presented in Spanish as well. Julie says this program typically gets Children’s Room staff in front of 600-700 students each year. “We usually get quite a few families coming in after the visits,” she notes. “All the staff members tell the kids to say ‘hi’ when they come in to visit, and it’s always fun to be on the desk when a kiddo from the school you visited comes in!”

“These visits allow us the opportunity to get out into the schools to introduce young people to the world of possibilities inside the library,” says Charles Teval, Interim Library Director.

In addition to this annual program, visits and presentations by library staff and/or the HPL Bookmobile as well as tours of HPL are available by request. Want the library to visit your school or organization? Request a visit/tour here.


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