Mission & Goals
Mission & Goals
The ELF initiative is intended to encourage and support the enhancement of early learning services for families with young children that are available through California public libraries. To accomplish this, ELF focuses on integrating these aspects:
- Position libraries as community learning centers that offer families and their young children stimulating opportunities for play and early learning.
- Design and implement innovative library services that reflect current research and best practices related to child development and engaging babies, toddlers, preschoolers, their parents, and childcare providers.
- Deliver these services primarily through the power of parental connection and modeling.
- Create places for families that inspire early learning through stimulating surroundings, relevant resources, and opportunities for experimentation and play.
- Offer a wide range of resources that reflect the needs and interests of the families and children involved.
- Integrate community organizations and their expertise into early learning programming, events and resources.
- Implement policies and procedures that accommodate the needs of families with very young children.
- Transform libraries into family centered early learning environments in which families are introduced to the magic of the written word, the joys of storytelling, the wonder of books, and the value of language through the realm of play and the power of parents as teachers.
Although the specifics of ELF libraries may vary all share the following common components:
- Family friendly space and policies,
- Family focused and developmentally appropriate programming,
- Resources and services that meet the needs of the whole child,
- Children's Services and Literacy Services partnerships,
- Community outreach and collaborations, and
- Outcomes driven results and evolution.
Goals of the ELF initiative are:
- Increase usage of library services by families and childcare providers with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
- Increase community awareness of the library as an early childhood development and parenting resource.
- Increase childcare providers' and parents' confidence in supporting young children's early development, learning and literacy skills.
- Increase supportive parental and caregiver behaviors that promote early learning and literacy skills.