This past weekend at the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference we launched a major expansion to our ABCmouse for LibrariesTM product, which gives children visiting public libraries free access to ABCmouse Early Learning Academy—the leading and most comprehensive online early learning resource for children ages 2–7+. The enhanced product now includes support for iPad and Android tablets, an all-new 1st grade curriculum that will include thousands of new learning activities, and added tools to improve librarians’ and patrons’ experience using ABCmouse. The already popular ABCmouse for Libraries will now help more young children learn, and better strengthen the library-school-home connection.
At our ALA conference booth, award-winning science author and Age of Learning Science Advisor Steve Tomecek demonstrated the new ABCmouse for Libraries features and content to a large and enthusiastic audience of librarians. Steve shared some of the new learning activities and culminated with a simple hands-on science activity that got the crowd engaged.
With well over a thousand visitors to our booth, the updated ABCmouse for Libraries features were received with much enthusiasm. Many librarians signed up for ABCmouse for Libraries access onsite, and others were excited to start utilizing the enhanced product already available in their libraries back home.
The multi-award-winning curriculum and safe, COPPA-compliant, 100% educational environment offered by ABCmouse for Libraries helps young children build a strong foundation for future academic success. Large-scale research studies assessing the effectiveness of ABCmouse have concluded that ABCmouse accelerates learning and helps children make significant gains in math and literacy.
ABCmouse for Libraries was launched at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Just one year later, the early learning curriculum is being used in nearly 4,000 libraries, including six of the seven largest public library systems in the country: Los Angeles Public Library, County of Los Angeles Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Borough Public Library, and Miami-Dade Public Library System.
“Since the launch of ABCmouse for Libraries last summer, thousands of branches across the country have enabled hundreds of thousands of children to complete high-quality early learning activities at their local public library,” said Zachary Katz, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Age of Learning. “As libraries increasingly make mobile devices available to patrons, Age of Learning is excited to expand ABCmouse for Libraries by making our ABCmouse app—the leading children’s learning app for iPads and Android tablets—free for in-library use.”
For the millions of families without broadband Internet at home, the local public library may be the only place they can access online learning resources. According to ALA data, there are more than 1.5 billion in-person public library visits and 300 million sessions on Internet-connected computers at U.S. public libraries annually. The new ABCmouse for Libraries will provide added benefits to this population:
- The ability to use ABCmouse on library-supplied iPad and Android tablets within the library, in addition to library desktop computers and families’ own tablets and laptops.
- A comprehensive standards-aligned supplementary 1st grade curriculum, with thousands of learning activities, including books, instructional animations, games, songs, puzzles, and more.
- An enhanced library user experience for easier access to the most popular ABCmouse learning activities.
- New tools offering more robust, anonymous usage data to give librarians insights into daily and weekly usage, including the number of users, time spent, activities completed, and books read.
- Free Library Starter Kits for branches to generate awareness and increase usage of ABCmouse for Libraries.
ABCmouse for Libraries makes it quick and easy for all public libraries to create a free account at www.ABCmouse.com/libraries. Children can use the site with a guest account or parents can create a personal account at the library to allow their children to customize their experiences and save their progress on ABCmouse.