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Your back-to-school letter

In response to LM_NET queries, Doug Johnson published a BFTP (blast from the past) post today on Your Library’s Back-to-School Letter.

Doug encourages us to use the start of school as an opportunity for connection and advocacy, inspiring us to design an initial communication that conveys the energy and contributions of our library programs in the lives of students, rather than merely sharing the rules.

Doug shares this model letter:

Dear Parents,

The library program has some exciting opportunities in store for your child this year:

  • Our program will be promoting the very best of children’s literature to your child with activities designed to help student’s enjoy the stories even more.
  • We be doing our very best to get (or keep) your children “hooked on reading” by recommending specific reading materials to each individual.
  • We will add 100 or more new titles this year of the latest and most exciting new books for young readers, including quality non-fiction to help meet the Common Core requirements.
  • At each grade level, students will be learning research and computer skills specifically suited to their developmental needs. 
  • We will be working with classroom teachers to help them find materials especially suited to the individual interests and abilities of your child.
  • Library lessons will stress good Digital Citizenship, helping your child make safe and ethical decisions when using the Internet.
  • The new iPads in the library will be available for reading e-books this year! 
  • Our new “maker-space” is available to all children who want to edit a movie, create a podcast, or edit photographs – and the library staff will help them.
  • We have a lot of special events being planned, including author visits, a book fair, and reading contests.
  • If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please let me know. We’d love to have you.

Our staff is ready and excited about this coming year and is committed to making the library your child’s favorite place in the school!

How I wish I got a letter like this when my kids were in school!

So readers, what would your letter look like? What are you most excited about sharing with your parents?   How would you personalize, localize, improve upon Doug’s suggestions?

How/where will you share it? Will you try a new platform? (Perhaps a poster making tool like Smore that would allow you to share media and links with parents.)

Please share your best ideas in Comments!

Image created with ImageChef.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Great letter! I am putting together a family welcome packet with a similar letter but in an infographic style that I hope parents will keep in their school folders or on their bulletin board. It will have space to write in their child’s class library day and the packet will include a bookmark/s and some other information on reading, reading lists, etc. I think it’s so important to reach out to the parents and market what kinds of great things are going on in the school library.

    • Glad I came across this 2013 post, motivating me to consider sending a welcome to the library communication to our middle school parents this year! Thank you.
      And then there’s a recent comment. I like Clara’s idea about an infographic style communication to parents. I am interested in how this is developing. Is it possible for Clara to contact me?

    • Carol Papuga says

      I would like information on the infographic Clara made, although this post is from 4 years ago!!

  2. Inforgraphic! Me too!

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