Wellington Library welcomes new path to literacy

Wellington Public Library has a new resource. It is the first library in Northern Colorado to link its website to Unite for Literacy, making it possible for anyone to hook up with the organization’s “Wondrously Infinite Global Library.”

Young “emergent” readers can enjoy the 100-book library on most any electronic device from a smartphone to a desktop computer with a couple of clicks. Each book is brightly illustrated with drawings or photos and has an audio component in English and many other languages. Find the site by looking on the library’s website (Wellington.colibraries.org/kids-teens). See “ Free Online Books” and click on Unite for Literacy.

At the library’s story hour on Aug. 20, Joseph Gallagher, 5, got a first-hand tour of the global library from agent for literacy, Sage Hoeven. Together they read through the “Let’s Ride,” book, listening to the audio in English and then in Russian, which gave Joseph the giggles as his mother Gilda and 1-year-old brother, Gabriel looked on. Gilda Gallagher is a kindergarten teacher at Eyestone Elementary School who was interested in learning how she could incorporate the library into her classroom activities.

“Every classroom in the Poudre School District has a smart board which allows an entire class to experience a book together on a large screen,” Gallagher said. “The library will be a nice complement to some of the work we are doing.”

Library Director Kathy Bornhoft also welcomes the Unite for Literacy books that will be available for free forever. The library has a regular story hour the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 11 a.m. Kim Keiss conducts the story hour for children of pre-school age and younger. It’s free and no registration is required.

A team of young men, “agents for literacy” in distinctive blue T-shirts and sunglasses demonstrated their mobile electronic library and handed out 3,000 small hard copy books at New West Fest in downtown Fort Collins in mid-August, adding to the excitement of this new tool.

Unite for Literacy’s library is especially helpful for non-English speakers and their families because of the audio component in English and many other languages. The organization grew out of a long-time effort by founder Mike McGuffee to alleviate illiteracy among Native Americans. The company is based in Fort Collins and welcomes questions from anyone interested in advancing literacy by using their library.

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