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Library Link: A primer on our preschool resources

“I had no idea the library provided something like this for my child. Thank you.

“I had no idea the library provided something like this for my child. Thank you.”

This recent comment from a parent who participated in one of Airdrie Public Library’s (APL) preschool programs over Zoom highlights an important reality for many families – they rely on their library to support their child’s learning.

Through offering a wide range of diverse programs, services and events to parents, guardians and their children, the library serves as an essential hub for early childhood learning.

Because libraries strive to be inclusive, welcoming and culturally appropriate spaces, they can reach a diverse group of people who want quality, accessible resources for their children.

At APL, for instance, not only do we have preschool collections in languages other than English, such as French, Spanish and Mandarin, but we also provide a variety of tools for learning beyond the thousands of books we have in our inventory.

These tools include tablets loaded with preschool apps such as Khan Academy, Knowledge Kids, and PBS Kids, and themed backpacks that contain visual aides designed to help children understand concepts such as shapes and numbers, the weather, the human body and much more.

Our handy TRACpac app also provides children access to digital books, many of which are downloadable to Kindle, Kobo, and Android and IOS devices.

Other online resources, such as Kids Reading Room, (part of the OverDrive/Libby package), TumbleBook Library and World Book Online offer storybooks, read-along books, puzzles, games and videos, which are accessible from whatever digital device you’re using. The variety of options opens the world of learning and imagination for curious young minds.

Then, of course, there are the many special events catered to preschoolers that APL hosts, such as Pumpkin Palooza, Snowflake Follies and Mighty Machines to help contribute to the many facets of a young child’s development.

Libraries are an important part of Alberta communities, especially for those whose lifelong journey of literacy and learning is just beginning.

For more information on APL programs and events visit www.airdriepubliclibrary.ca