Early childhood and librariesGood news from Washington, DC – and how frequently do we hear that? A lot of work from the youth-services divisions of ALA (ALSC, AASL, and YALSA), who met earlier in the year with members of the U.S. House and Senate, has led to an important change in the new version of the Improving Head Start Act. Here’s the page on the ALA’s Washington Office site with the history of their work on Head Start bills past and present.

What a great thing! If the bill passes through Congress and the President signs it – which it looks as if he will – public libraries will for the first time be recognized as official partners of the Head Start program. Hooray! While lots of Head Starts around the country have built good working relationships with public libraries for projects that promote early literacy, this new bill will mean that Head Starts nationwide will be encouraged to work with libraries. That’s great news for anyone thinking about submitting grant applications for programs promoting early literacy.

There’s a silly – and unrelated – thing, too. Brad Barker, librarian at Mark Twain Junior High in Modesto, CA, has been writing an irregular (and I mean that in several senses of the word) humor column, “Dear Mr. Library Man,” in the Modesto Bee. Here he betrays us all by revealing the secret librarian handshake we all learned when we graduated from library school. Right?