Another link I found relating to early childhood collection development is to this great non-profit called Ready to Read Resource Center. Coming from a more rural community in Montana (we did have a public library – but it was small!), I was curious about other rural communities with more limited literacy resources, smaller library, and fewer public libraries, and consequently how they might look at collection development a bit differently.
There are a few different literacy organizations with similar names, but this particular one works specifically with the Alaska Public Library system! The center was born through a partnership between the Anchorage Public Library & the Alaska State Library in 2006. Their website describes their service as promoting early literacy development to Alaska’s pre-K children. They do this by loaning free reading kits to organizations (primarily libraries, but in the case of towns that don’t have a public library the kits can be leant directly to caregivers and/or parents). Within Anchorage, kits can be borrowed directly from the library, and in towns with smaller public libraries they can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. There are a few different kits available, ranging from lapsit bags with 5 or 6 books, to ‘Ready to Read’ tubs with up to 50 books.
The organization also advocates for early literacy by “giving presentations to caregivers and early childhood organizations.”
“Many rural Alaskan communities have no bookstores or libraries and those communities that do have libraries, even in urban areas, may not find adequate collections of books for infants and toddlers as these collections are expensive to maintain.” – Ready to Read Resource Center
Overall I thought this was a really interesting variation on collection development, offering an option of less permanent collections for libraries and communications with much more limited resources.