San Mateo County Library and Housing Authority to Partner in Support of Early Literacy

ARTICLE | Apr 7, 2016

A new Housing Outreach program will put library cards and free children's books in the hands of San Mateo County families that need them the most.

San Mateo County Library (SMCL) and the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo are partnering to accelerate children’s literacy and learning in the home. 

The agencies are working together to provide early literacy and learning kits in all Housing Authority appointment offices to enrich learning for children while their parents receive services.  Also, through routine appointments in their five-year program, case-managed families will sign up for library cards and each receive a minimum of five free high quality books from SMCL for their children to build their home libraries.

This Housing Outreach Program, funded through a grant from the Pacific Library Partnership, will meet families where they are and encourage child-adult interaction and child-directed learning while forging a strong library connection.

Focusing on families with the most need, the program will encourage library use and library programs, such as Talk Read Sing for families with young children.  Families participating in the Talk Read Sing cohort will access the cutting-edge demonstration program that works with new parents in understanding the importance of talking to their children and the number of words heard by young children from birth to 30 months of age.

The Housing Authority located at 264 Harbor Blvd # A, in Belmont, works to create access to affordable housing, increase the supply of workforce housing, and support related community development, so that housing permanently exists for people of all income levels and generations in San Mateo County. SMCL has a long history of leadership in children’s and adult literacy and is delighted to be a part of a meaningful partnership to address inequity in the County.

The San Mateo County Library is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that comprises the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, and the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. The 12 branches, one bookmobile and website ( provide innovative, dynamic library services designed to connect diverse communities with opportunities for individual growth and enrichment.

For more information, please visit San Mateo County.

You may also be interested in