Librarians: Key Partners in a State-Wide Book Distribution Outreach Program


  • Stephanie Bailey-White Idaho Commission for Libraries, Boise, ID
  • Roger A. Stewart Boise State University, Boise, ID
  • Staci Shaw Idaho Commission for Libraries, Boise, ID


Book distribution programs, My First Books, Idaho Commission for Libraries, liter-acy programs, library outreach, early childhood


Book distribution programs targeted at young children and their families that include the children own-ing the books have been in existence for a long time. Results are provided from a multi-year program evaluation of a unique, state-wide book distribution program developed in 1997 by the Idaho Commis-sion for Libraries called My First Books. The program is unique among book distribution programs because it relies on local librarians to deliver and showcase the books each month during the academic year in a variety of public and private early childhood care and education settings. My First Books thus becomes a powerful mechanism for library outreach to local childcare and education facilities, parents and caregivers of young children, and the children themselves. Program evaluation results reveal a highly popular and effective program for all of these constituencies that fits well within the resources available in public libraries of all sizes throughout Idaho.


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