Our book lending service is for all children and was originally set up to support and encourage a love of books among children and their families. As well as the home learning opportunities it also provides a great opportunity for interaction and some 1:1 time. Barford playgroup offers a rural setting serving many families in and around the village. Access to the local town can be a challenge for families without transport.
Staff had noted and were concerned, that some children were not accessing the story corner and were not particularly interested in stories being read or told. Looking at tracking information it was clear that this was having an impact on children’s development and it had been picked up that children were not making expected progress in the areas of Communication and Language.
The setting wanted to promote more of an interest in books among all the children and it was felt that by drawing on support from the home environment this would maximise the impact.
The library is now run on a weekly basis by Fran, a volunteer from the community whose own grandchildren have been through the setting.
Originally the books were loaned to the preschool from the library in Wymondham. New themed boxes would be collected every half term. Over time the setting have collected a much wider variety of their own books and it is these that they now use to loan out.
Each child is given their own A4 library card which they write their name on with any necessary support. Every child spends time with Fran looking at the books which have been displayed. hey are encouraged to choose their own to put in their bag and share at home. The title is recorded on the child’s card, which is also taken home and parents/carers are invited to add their comments.
Our children are enthusiastic about the library. They enjoy having the opportunity to talk about and share the books, encouraged by Fran who talks with the child about comments that may have been made on the card. Each child then chooses a sticker. A specific example of impact recently was with an EYPP child who after weeks of disinterest chose their own book to take home for the first time. Progress was also recorded on his development tracker.
This successful project has developed over many years and is set to continue. It is rare for a book to not be returned but Fran would like to develop a card and procedure for non-returns. Future plans include creating story lending bags which will contain a book, possibly a game and a craft project to complete together at home. Fran aspires to having her own “proper” open/closed and library sign!