Baby's First Book helps create lifelong readers and library users, almost from birth. Through this program, the Jackson County Library Foundation guarantees that nearly all of Jackson County’s new families will have at least one children’s book in their home.


how it works

Packets are distributed in either English or Spanish to ensure that all residents have equal access to literacy materials, including information on the importance of reading to babies. Materials include a board baby book, information about library programs, parent’s guide to reading to children, and library card application. This program also helps to promote local libraries as a key free cultural resource in the community, which in turn supports greater access to books and technology. Library program and services information are included in the packet, and families are encouraged to visit their library to get their baby’s first library card.

Baby’s First Book is possible thanks to the generosity of our individual and corporate sponsors. Together, we believe in the power of literacy to change and enrich lives. Let’s give children the tools they need to be successful and happy people. 

Baby's first book in jackson County

  • Increased access to literacy is greatly needed.

  • The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that 62% of parents with a high socioeconomic status read to their children every day compared to only 36% of parents with a low socioeconomic status.

  • This difference places Jackson County’s 32% of children under five in poverty at a severe disadvantage for achieving early childhood literacy goals and kindergarten readiness.

  • 2401 babies were born in Jackson County in 2015, with an average family size of 2.95.

  • 19% of newborns were to Spanish-speaking families.

  • JCLF estimates that a total of 7,083 people will directly benefit from this program during one calendar year.

History of Baby's First Book

Baby's First Book was begun in Ashland by then children's librarian Margie Cicerrella. The Friends of the Ashland Library provide a Welcome Baby Bag to new mothers giving birth in the Ashland Community Hospital. The JCLF began a countywide Baby's First Book program on Mother's Day 2012, inspired by Judy Lozano's dedication to childhood literacy efforts and reading. 

So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: they begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.
— William James

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