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Children are never too young for books

August 08, 2008|By CATHERINE HALL

"It's Never Too Early" is the slogan chosen by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services for their birth-to-5 literacy campaign.

Never too early, that is, to introduce children to the library and to the joy of books.

Often referred to as early literacy, this early introduction focuses on fostering a healthy and joyful attitude toward books, reading and learning.

The Washington County Free Library is dedicated to providing opportunities for our youngest county residents to enjoy early literacy. Here at the library, we provide a myriad of resources to engage the birth-to-5 crowd in literacy. Come by and check out one of these activities or materials:

Story times

Infant story time - A new program for children ages 6 months to 18 months and their adult caregivers. This 20-minute program includes simple storybooks, rhymes, music and more. The program will run on Wednesdays at either 10 or 11 a.m. beginning in September. Space is limited, so free preregistration is required. We are accepting registrations now.

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Toddler time - Open to toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years and their adult caregivers. This 30-minute program includes storybooks, action stories and singalongs. The next toddler time runs from September to November on Mondays at either 10 or 11 a.m. Space is limited, so free preregistration is required.

Preschool story time - Open to preschoolers ages 3 to 5. This 30-minute program includes storybooks, singalongs and dancealongs. This program is held at 11 a.m. Fridays and does not require registration.

Materials

Books - We have a wide variety of picture books for the 5-and-younger set. Look through our board book collection, with bright colors, baby faces and simple text. Our picture book collection is always growing and evolving; make sure you ask a librarian to help you find books about your young child's favorite things or his or her milestones.

Audio visual - We lend DVDs for one week at a time, and we have a large collection, ranging from the ever-popular PBS cartoons to "Baby Einsteins."

Magazines - Our magazines can be checked out for three weeks. We have a number of titles for the very young, including LadyBug and Humpty Dumpty's Magazine.

Call or e-mail us for more information or to register for story times: wcflchildren@washcolibrary.org or 301-739-3250, ext. 132.

Catherine Hall is children's librarian with the Washington County Free Library.

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