La Crosse Public Library
What is 1000 Books?
Read 1000 Books Aloud to Preschoolers
Early Literacy Initiative
DIY for Families
Increase Library Usage
Open-ended so families can self-pace
Programs that take some initial program planning and set-
up but, once in place, are able to be administered easily
with little ongoing time devoted to them.
Encourage families to return often to the library without an
active program scheduled
Families provide the “power” and activity on their own
Encourages increased check-out
Sandy Krost, Head of Children’s Services,
Bremen Public Library, IN
How Bremen Did It
• Families received a small size three-ring journal to hold half-page sheets
• Recording sheets for book titles returned after every 100 books read
• Created rewards after every 100 level – a sticker & a children’s music CD
• Gave out a book at the final level
• Included other small incentives
• Built in accountability
My 1000 Book Beginnings
Menasha Public Library
La Crosse Public Library
Our “launch” materials at La Crosse –
combining flowers, seeds and rainbows in our
“growing readers” theme
Our incentives at launch –
we have since gone down to
book bag at sign-up; stickers
at every level completed, a
fingerpuppet at 500 and a
book on reaching the 1000
Above, our first design: write down those
titles! Next design: mark off seeds.
Current design combines best of both (seeds and listing favorite titles)
PLUS literacy tips!
Catching the EYE
We devoted part of a wall to create an eye-catching mural
where kids mark progress with dots that add color to the
flowers as more kids add levels read!
• Completely adaptable to your library and budget
• Supports our early literacy mission in libraries
• Allows staff to create value for families with very
little ongoing time or effort. Once it’s planned, you
• Let’s parents take the lead
while we cheerlead
Setting Up a Program
• What are your goals?
• What ages do you want to reach?
• Do you want to offer incentives?
• How will you keep track of participation?
• What is your budget going to be?
• How can you fund this initiative?
• What’s your dream theme?
• Introduce a fun method to encourage
families to read aloud to preschoolers?
• Introduce children to a wide range of
• Promote pre-literacy so children enter
school ready to learn?
• Encourage regular library use by families?
• Relaxed easy introduction to the library?
What ages do you want to reach?
• Birth- Age 5
• Ages 1-5
• Birth- Age 4
• Ages 1-4
Do you want to offer incentives?
Incentives for kids and/or parents
Low cost: stickers, stamps
Mid cost: paperback book, book bag,
magnets, window clings
High cost: fingerpuppets, CDs
How will you keep track
•Each return visit = 100 books read
What is your budget going to be?
•Your budget is dependent on your design
•Projecting participation – smart buying
•Considerations in costing out - sustainability
How can you fund this initiative?
• Programming Budget
• Friends of the Library
• Grants - Target, Pepsi, Dollar General, Kohls, Sam’s Club, etc
• Ezra Jack Keats, ALSC grants
• Grants – Rotary, Jaycees, Kiwanis
• Sponsorship – local businesses, schools
• Memorials; special fundraising appeals
• Research to help in grant writing from Bryce Don’t Play blog:
What’s your dream theme?
1000 Books Map
from Kathleen Larson (Youth Services Librarian in Bloomer WI)