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Children's Book Teasers

Milwaukee Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Kelly Hughbanks, Coordinator of Youth and Community Services, khughb@milwaukee.gov

Problem Statement

Changes in staffing levels and library hours have reduced the number of opportunities for librarians to talk about books with children. MPL staff sought an alternative approach to book talks using 21st century flair with a goal of increasing options for finding out about great books and connecting readers with the library.

Innovation

Following the example of a number of book publishers, MPL librarians created well-crafted, cliffhanging readings of favorite children’s books. The City of Milwaukee’s cable channel assisted with recording the book talks. The recordings were added to the Library’s Kids Zone Great Books web page. Any parent, teacher or child with internet access can view and listen to them. The books are arranged in groups by age/reading level. The mini book readings were also compiled on a DVD which was sent to schools.

Progress

To date, 26 book trailers have been added to MPL’s website. They provide dynamic introductions to recommended books in MPL’s collection, complementing the many booklists provided. Direct links to the County Catalog are provided, so patrons can locate the book or place a hold. Librarians use the clips when classes visit the library to enhance book talks and create awareness of this resource. One dad reports that he uses them before coming to the library to raise his child’s interest in books and the library. Children enjoy these teasing introductions to books and ask for more. MPL is pleased to have another great way to expand the Great Reads section, add pizzazz to book talks and support the goal of creating lifelong readers. The Great Reads page has had 2,473 page views between September 1, 2010 (when the recordings were added) and March 20, 2011.