Working with Community Partners to Offer Library Programming to Expectant Parents and Parents of Newborns


Expecting parents viewing sonograms

How can we reach expectant and new parents from underserved populations with the message that literacy begins before birth? It is important that families know the key role they play in their babies' development while showing them playful ways to talk, sing, and share books with their babies from the very start.

The Mother Goose on the Loose: Hatchlings initiative is a research-based collaborative project of the Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland State Library, Mother Goose on the Loose, LLC, local libraries, and community partners. Learn about Hatchlings’ challenges, adaptations, and overwhelmingly positive evaluations in this webinar.

Hear a program participant describe the value that Hatchlings has had for her family; experience the adaptations that have made traditional songs and rhymes more relevant to this unique audience; sample part of a program for Spanish speakers; discover how new roles created by community partners brought in hesitant participants; and see the high impact Hatchlings has had on parental early literacy behaviors and library promotion to people unfamiliar with library services.

Originally presented July 19, 2023.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recruit community partners (and other librarians) to expand range of service and ability to reach underserved communities through Hatchlings;
  • Describe how the Hatchlings initiative can promote expanded access to diverse populations via programming for expectant parents and parents of newborns in English and Spanish;
  • Demonstrate at least two Hatchlings activities that librarians can use to convey the importance of early literacy practices and strengthen parent/child bonding;
  • Use survey data to convince administration, boards, partner organizations, and funding sources that initiating Hatchlings’ programming would enrich their communities by empowering parents as their babies’ first important teacher; and
  • List two differences between planning and presenting in-person and virtual Hatchlings programs. This can help determine which will work best for their communities.

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for library directors, outreach coordinators, children's services managers, children's librarians, community partnership coordinators, family engagement librarians, early literacy specialists, branch managers, and state librarians.


Dorothy StoltzDorothy Stoltz is a library professional with experience in community engagement and collaboration; digital literacy and peer learning; early literacy research and training; library programming, outreach, administration, and play-and-learn center design. She retired as director for community engagement with Carroll County (MD) Public Library.

Dorothy was chair of the PLA/ALSC Every Child Ready to Read Committee (2014–2015) and is currently serving on the advisory boards for the IMLS Erikson Media Literacy PD Project and DVA and More, a nonprofit board dedicated to drug-and-violence awareness, and the steering committee for the Maryland State Library Agency’s Hatchlings Project. She is also the owner of Waldo Publishers (inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson).


Carrie SandersCarrie Sanders has served as the youth services coordinator for the Maryland State Library Agency since 2016, where she provides consultation and training to youth services coordinators for all Maryland public libraries in the areas of early literacy, STEAM programming, teen services, family engagement, and other initiatives surrounding youth services. Previous experience includes a decade of service as a school librarian and fifteen years of public library work as a children’s librarian. She is passionate about helping library staff develop the skills, strategies, and awareness critical in creating equitable, inclusive programs and services for all ages, abilities, and populations of youth.


Dr. Betsy Diamant-CohenDr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen is developer of the Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy program, and has previously worked in public libraries and children’s museums. Betsy served on national and local committees around youth services, including for the PLA and ALSC. She also served as president of the Maryland Library Association’s Children’s Services Division (2006–2007).

Betsy has published numerous books and manuals for children’s librarians; she is co-author of Children and Libraries’ “Research RoundUp” column. Known for engaging PD presentations, she has presented over 400 workshops for 11,000+ people within the US and abroad, and within the past few years has presented forty-nine webinars.


Anneliese TrainerAnneliese Trainer is the lead children's librarian at Calvert Library's Twin Beaches Branch in Maryland. Before coming to the public library, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Anchorage Alaska and worked at a tech music startup in New York City. Anneliese is passionate about connected learning, public humanities, and oddball picture books. She recently graduated with an MLIS from University of Maryland College Park.


Emily TrovatoEmily Trovato is a children's instructor and research specialist at Howard County Library System in Elkridge, Maryland. She brings fifteen years of experience in education, with a Master of Education in Montessori Studies. Her background includes teaching in mixed-grade elementary classrooms and facilitating community education programs for children and families including mindfulness meditation, restorative justice, nature studies, academics, and Aikido. Ella está aprendiendo español.


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This on-demand webinar is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your access to this on-demand webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

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This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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