Early Literacy Station in the Children’s Room at the San Francisco Public Library: Discovering How Kids Learn Through Play

The Hyperlinked Library

Early Literacy Space Early Literacy Space at San Francisco Public Library

About five years ago, a multicolored object with many wooden panels sprang up in the children’s room at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). While it was built, the chief of children and youth services and the library’s early literacy specialist watched closely. I wondered what it was doing in the library and how much it cost.

I got a clue about its purpose while observing a children’s librarian conduct a story hour, called “baby rhyme time,” for a group of parents and their babies. It took place in the storytelling room, adjacent to the mysterious structure. They started out singing “I’m a little baby, I fly high, Down to the floor and up to the sky.” I noticed the repetition of the sound of words and thought about alliteration in poetry. Could demonstrating the sounds of words be a way to teach…

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Early Literacy Station in the Children’s Room at the San Francisco Public Library: Discovering How Kids Learn Through Play

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