One facet of our literacy promotion efforts is the American Family Children’s Hospital Inpatient Reading Library. With its professionally selected, high-quality collection of over 600 award-winning books for patients ranging in age from infants through young adults, AFCH is one of the few National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions facilities to have a robust literacy presence. By offering children and families easy browsing through conveniently located, 24-hour-accessible shelves, AFCH guarantees that books are not only a serious option for distraction during hospitalization, but a part of the landscape of the hospital environment. With ongoing training of pediatric nursing staff about the importance of literacy promotion, families are encouraged to make use of the library resources, including volunteer readers, to whatever extent possible.
Planned future extensions to the AFCH Inpatient Reading Library project include audio books on MP3 players, interlibrary loans with the public library system, e-books, and recorded “story times” with AFCH pediatricians and staff available on closed-circuit television. Additional videotaping for “story times” will be scheduled over the next few months, development of DVDs will begin, and bedtime stories will soon be available to the children in the hospital. We are excited to bring this project closer to life.
The grand opening of the AFCH Inpatient Reading Library featured Wisconsin first lady Jessica Doyle.
Photos: John Maniaci/UW Hospital & Clinics