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Libraries as innovators
in early childhood education

Libraries as innovators in early childhood education

On demand

Duration: 1 hour

A decommissioned helicopter, a “Questionarium,” a Rainbow Jungle ...  

These are just a few of the interactive, multimodal, play-based spaces that the youngest patrons of the Calgary Public Library can enjoy. So much more than quiet repositories for books, the library's children’s departments have been reimagined and rebuilt as innovative Early Learning Centres. 

In Bay City, Mich., likewise, young visitors to the library will see a stately, historical, Victorian Gothic façade from the outside but can experience forward-thinking, innovative learning spaces on the inside. The library was built in 1884, yet its approach to early childhood education is decidedly 21st-century.    

As the Calgary Public Library’s “Early Learning Strategy” puts it, “Children and their caregivers must be supported early on, well before kids begin school. Public libraries are uniquely positioned to support engagement in early learning because we are accessible and free.” 

The Calgary Public Library and the Bay County Library System have something else in common. They’ve both adopted LENA Start as part of their mission to elevate early learning. During the program, LENA’s “talk pedometer” technology measures key components of children’s language environments, and parents attend weekly sessions to learn strategies for increasing interactive talk in the home. 

Webinar attendees will learn more about: 

  • How a metro library system and a rural library system have reconceptualized early learning in their communities. 
  • The library’s evolving role as a space of community and connection. 
  • How and why the Calgary Public Library and Bay County Library System incorporated LENA Start into their early learning innovations.


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