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Friday, April 17, 2015

Too Small to Fail New “Talking is Teaching Community Campaign Guide,”

Dear Florida Staff,

This was shared on a listserve by Suzanne Flint


Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, aims to help parents, communities and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Too Small to Fail is focusing its work on closing the “word gap.”  Studies have found that by age four, children in middle and upper income families hear 30 million more words than their lower-income peers. This disparity in hearing words from parents and caregivers translates directly into a disparity in learning words. And that puts our children born with the fewest advantages even further behind.

Too Small to Fail has released a new “Talking is Teaching Community Campaign Guide,” a how-to roadmap for local leaders (including libraries) across the country to initiate and enhance on-the-ground efforts to help close the word gap and boost young children’s early brain development. The guide and corresponding free downloadable brand assets and other resource materials can now be found on  

The Community Campaign Guide builds off the success and lessons learned from Too Small to Fail’s local campaign efforts in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oakland, California. The local campaign, titled “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing,” launched in these communities in 2014. Since then, Too Small to Fail has worked within these communities to engage trusted messengers — such as pediatricians, faith-based leaders, child care providers and librarians — to educate parents and deliver high-quality tools that can help them engage in meaningful interactions with their young children starting at birth.

The guide offers adaptive “Talking is Teaching” creative content and resources that: 1) encourage parents to talk, read, and sing with their children during every-day routines — from waiting for the bus, to making dinner to giving a bath; 2) offer ideas for engaging the business community and other allies to raise awareness; and 3) provide suggestions about elevating community messages through local media. The free multimedia assets can be easily tailored to respond to the individual needs of a community or library.

Since libraries are already actively engaged in delivering high-quality services to their youngest users, their families and caregivers, the State Library hopes this collaborative partnership with Too Small to Fail and their  additional resources will only help enhance the great work libraries are doing every day!   

Regards, Suzanne

Suzanne Flint
Suzanne Flint | Library Programs Consultant | California State Library
Library Building II | 900 N Street | Sacramento, CA 95814
916.651.9796 direct  916.653.8443 fax email

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

State Aid to Libraries

FL residents: Ask state legislators to fund State Aid to Libraries at $27.4m. Take action at

Friday, February 27, 2015

Employers who use E-Verify

It is important that job applicants know their rights and responsibilities when they apply to work for an employer who participates in E-Verify. Employers who use E-Verify must follow E-Verify rules and responsibilities and protect the privacy of their employees. 

The E-Verify "Employee Rights and Responsibilities" video has been available in English and Spanish since 2010. It uses reenactment to explain the rights of employees and the process for employees to contest data mismatches. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties have updated the E-Verify "Employee Rights and Responsibilities" video with closed captioning in these six languages:
  • Chinese (traditional)
  • French
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Tagalog 
  • Vietnamese 
The six-minute video is available on the following pages:   

NEW! Follow for updates and tips about Form I-9, E-Verify, myE-Verify and more.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Florida Libraries as Workforce Recovery/Social Service Referral January Sessions

Florida Libraries as Workforce Recovery/Social Service Referral

Schedule of online events:

Wednesday, January 7, 10:00 a.m. Eastern
Florida Libraries as Workforce Recovery Using FEL Resources
Description: As part of the Florida Libraries as Workforce Recovery month, this one hour webinar will focus on how Career Transitions and e-books from the Gale Virtual Reference Library can help your library with workforce recovery efforts.
Presenter: Stacey Knibloe, Customer Education Specialist, Cengage Learning

Friday, January 16, 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Right Service at the Right Time: Overview, Current Usage, Promotion and Future Development
Description: Right Service at the Right Time is a decision-making website that walks the public through a series of simple questions in order to connect them with the E-Government and social services they need.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Getting Your Literacy Program Ready for the New Year

As your start the new year, it is a good time to step back and take a look at how well you are managing your volunteer literacy program.

Here is a checklist of things to consider:

1. How effective is your initial and ongoing tutor training? What works and what needs improving? What is one change you can easily make to improve the program?

2. After matching, are you spending enough time with tutors and students to ensure all is going well? For example:
Do you have regular contact with matched pairs to see how things are going? Do you have volunteers (former tutors, students, teachers, etc.) calling, emailing or texting each tutor and each student to check in. Students calling students is a good way for students to give back and to really find out how instruction is working?

3. Are you using administrative volunteers? This job is good for those who can't give weekly but can come in a day a month or two or three days every quarter in between their travels.

4. Are your forms up to date? Have you reviewed your program's policies within the last two or three years to see if they are still effective?

5. Are you adding new technologies to your program that will benefit students? Do you have a couple of volunteers who are taking the lead on this? Do you do targeted advertising to find volunteers with specific skills needed in your program?

The Citrus County Public Library is one of our many Florida libraries that provide direct instruction. Take a look at their web page to learn more. They have a handout to help tutors get started. If you program has something similar, please share examples with us. Email the link or the handout to

VALF provides a program management workshop for members. Email if you would like to host a workshop in your area.

Happy New Year to all ....
From the VALF Board...   Thanks for all you do...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Library Grant Opportunity

Grant Opportunity for Innovation
Sparks Ignition Grants are due to the Institute of Museum and Library Services by February 2, 2015. These small grants of $10,000 to $25,000 are to encourage libraries and archives to test and evaluate specific innovations. They can support deployment, testing and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services or organizational practices. Identified problems should be relevant to many libraries and include significant innovation. For more information go to their website and sign up for the webinar on Tuesday, January 6, at 4 pm ET.
Want to know more about IMLS 2015 grant opportunities, read their guide.

We have no idea of what might be considered innovative in the context of adult literacy and libraries, but here are some ideas to help you start thinking

  • Set up a reading better program targeting adult learners who want to be entrepreneurs or who run their own small business. Provide space in your library for their "virtual" office. Provide volunteers and staff to help them learn to read better while establishing their business
  • Find unusual partners, funeral homes, car dealerships, bars and others to recruit volunteer tutors.Take pictures with the staff and ask them to post the pictures with information about your library literacy program on THEIR web page.
  • Develop a tutor training program using smart phones and apps as the technology students and tutors could use for adult basic education lessons.
  • Provide cooking classes for adult learners where they learn to read better by reading recipes and cooking together. Publish a local cookbook with lessons. Have students take their baked goods to your county commision meeting to thank them for funding your adult literacy program. As part of the program, loan out cooking utensils, recruit chiefs to be involved, partner with local farmers and more.

    If you have ideas you consider innovative, share them in comments on our blog.