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A Resource for Libraries

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Kids and their parents at the library Parents playing peek-a-boo A parent reading a book with a child Kid playing at the library

ELF Goals & Values


  • Enhance library staff skills in serving young children (0-5), their families and caregivers.
  • Foster the inclusion of parents and families as the primary influence in their children's lives.
  • Support programs and services that are enriching, developmentally appropriate, and responsive to the needs of young children, their families and caregivers.


  • Increase the number of young children, families and childcare providers who utilize library services – with special emphasis on reaching high-need, at-risk populations.
  • Increase community awareness of public libraries as early learning resources that help to assure the future success of the young children they serve!


  • All children are born ready to learn and all parents have strengths.
  • Children's development unfolds along individual pathways that are often interrelated but uneven.
  • Children's primary mode of learning is through play and exploration.
  • Responsive human relationships are essential to children's development and wellbeing.
  • Families are a child's first and most powerful influence – they know their child best.
  • Every child is recognized as an individual with unique abilities, personality traits, learning styles, interests, needs, and ways of responding to the world.
  • Public libraries are important community centers that offer a wealth of resources and rich learning experiences that support children and families.
  • Library staff can inspire and nurture a sense of wonder, discovery and self-efficacy that encourages families and their children to become life-long learners and library users.
parents playing with the child