County Library Partners with First 5 Commission on
winter 2006, Butte
County Library launched ELF, the Early
Learning with Families (ELF) @ Your Library
program, a California State Library initiative
funded with Library Services and Technology Act
grant funds. By
spring 2006 Derek Wolfgram, Butte
County’s Library Director, proclaimed the ELF
Initiative “wildly successful.”
Tovey, Senior Library Assistant, Children's
Services, Butte County Library.
[Photo courtesy of Bill Husa, Chico Enterprise
helps libraries enhance their services for
families with very young children by building upon
the most promising early literacy and learning
practices. ELF, recognizing that a child’s parent
or primary caregiver is the child’s first and
most powerful teacher,
builds partnerships between families, caregivers,
community agencies, and library professionals
where information is shared, where family
expertise and diversity are valued; and where
libraries serve as facilitators of families’
self-discovery and mastery.
In addition, ELF libraries are encouraged
to develop partnerships between their own
Children’s Services and Literacy Services – creating
powerful collaborative relationships that support
families’ full range of learning and literacy
County, the ELF initiative has enabled the Butte
team to launch several new programs for babies,
their parents and caregivers, and to expand the
library’s parent and baby resource collections.
In addition, Butte’s branches now offer
more family-friendly environments complete with
mounted giggle mirrors and wall puzzles, décor
that engages inquisitive toddlers so busy moms and
dads can more easily peruse and check-out library
families, the community in general, and the
library’s busy staff all love the new library
programs and services for young children.
5 Grant to fund Butte
County’s ELF activities
ELF’s inception at the California State Library,
5 Children and Families Commission has been
interested in the ELF initiative and has been an
official statewide partner. Now, Butte
County’s own First 5 Commission, to illustrate its
support, has awarded a grant to the Butte County
Library for its ELF program.
First 5 Grant will fund ELF and family literacy
activities through the Butte County Library for
the next three years, further acknowledging the
value of the collaboration between Children's
Services and Literacy Services.
ELF programs will be expanded to provide
more frequent activities while services will be
offered at more branches throughout the county. In
addition, funds have been earmarked for increased
outreach to families who would benefit from ELF,
as well as to adults with small children who are
interested in improving their own basic reading
and writing skills.
As parents and caregivers become more
literate, they also become better able to support
their child’s success through engagement with
language and books.
out” across the community
Tovey, Senior Library Assistant in Children’s
Services, describes the
ELF program at the Butte County Library as
a “ friendly reaching out” across the
community. And Tovey is right.
Because of ELF, Butte’s families are coming together with community
specialists and other family agencies at the
library to strengthen the early learning needs of
the county’s youngest citizens.
The important result - families in Butte
more information about the Butte County
Library’s Early Learning with Families program
please contact Heather Tovey, Senior Library
Assistant, Children’s Services at 530-891-2762
or Carey Gross, Library Literacy Specialist at
530-538-7198 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
more information about the statewide Early
Learning with Families initiative please contact
Suzanne Flint, Library Programs Consultant at
916-651-9796 or email@example.com,
Judy Klikun, Statewide ELF Project Coordinator at
916-446-6378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.