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See the Story
Transcript of See the Story
Emily Spotts (team leader)
The class begins at 10am every Wednesday in the children’s section of the public library. The familiar and inviting area allows the guests to feel comfortable practicing and playing along.
The class is open to all who wish to attend. Because of limited library space, the class should be no larger than 25 children and their caretakers to provide the best learning experience.
If class attendance continues to grow, we will hold more than one class per week using the same materials.
The Intended Audience
Children aged three to six are the intended audience.
All children learn through stories and when encouraged children can grow and develop in multiple domains (Quintero, 2010).
See the story is a weekly class for 3 to 6 year olds where they are immersed in American Sign Language (ASL) and deaf culture through a weekly story with ASL translation, songs, and puppeteers.
Learning is achieved through entertainment and repetition.
The purpose of this library program is to create an inclusive environment for potential patrons and pique interest in the deaf community by learning a second language.
ASL Story time for Children
See the Story
The Unintended Audience
The childrens' caretakers, their extended family, their friends, and their friends’ families are the unintended audience and passive participants.
By attending the class, the adults may be inspired to learn ASL and deaf culture on their own or to aid in their children's development. Learning another language, even in small amounts, can be intellectually stimulating.
It is difficult to accurately count the number of possible ASL “speakers” as there are 3 distinct categories that may benefit from some ASL usage: deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing impaired (Nomeland & Nomeland, 2011 ).
According to United States Census Bureau (2010)
U. S. Population = 321, 294, 944
Population having hearing difficulty as of 2010 = 7.6 million
1.1 million identify as having severe hearing difficulty (Brault, 2012, p. 8).
Hearing children are more likely to accept deaf children if they are able to communicate with them (Lowe Vandell, Anderson, Ehrhardt, and Shores Wilson, 1982). Learning some basic ASL encourages interaction with deaf peers, which can in turn lead to greater commitment to learning ASL.
Understand more about the deaf culture
Interact with members of the deaf community
Build relationships with members of the deaf community
Learn simple ASL finger-spelling
Learn simple, common signs (e.g. hello, goodbye, thank you, etc.)
Understand the relationship between signs and the words they represent
Be encouraged to continue dual language development
ASL University ™. (2013). Lifeprint.com. Retrieved from http://www.lifeprint.com/
Brault, M. W. (2012). Americans with disabilities: 2010 household economic studies.
U. S. Department of Commerce:
Economics and Statistics Administration.
Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf.
Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) Programs & Services. (n. d.). Retrieved from
Educational Resource Center on Deafness [digital image]. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://theranch-
HubPages. (2013). Deaf culture facts that might surprise you. Retrieved from http://
Houston Public Library. (n. d.). Accessible Services: Access center for the visually and hearing impaired. Retrieved
Houston Public Library [digital image]. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://houstonlibrary.org/sites/all/themes/custom/
Johnson, G. (2012, September 24). 32 uses and benefits of American Sign Language (ASL) for silent
communications. Retrieved July 20, 2015, from http://www.resourcesforlife.com/docs/item1560
Meador, H. E. & Zazove, P. (2005). Health care interactions with deaf culture.
Journal of the American Board of
Family Medicine, 18
(3), 218-222. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.18.3.218
Provide sensitivity training for staff in order to eliminate misconceptions about deaf people or those who are hard of hearing and ensure these patrons are given a positive experience and can be provided with excellent and accessible service.
Interact and build relationships with members of the deaf community. Use knowledge gained from interactions to modify existing library programs and services to better meet the needs of all patrons.
Ignoring the needs of deaf patrons in our community creates alienation. "Books, advertisements, journal and newspaper articles frequently use language and present images that are not supportive of deaf people's self-esteem, and perpetuate low expectations, patronage and discrimination"
Educate staff and the local community on simple ASL basics.
Encourage language development of all kinds.
The library will stock ASL books and videos for all ages as well as books written by deaf authors. Providing resources for the deaf by the deaf will make the deaf population feel more included and more likely to see the library positively, potentially using its services now that there are books tailored to that audience. Exposing children and families to these books promotes acceptance and inclusion in the 'hearing' world.
"Library and information services that are accessible and inclusive can play an important role in reducing discrimination for deaf people" (Playforth, 2004).
"The library director was demonstrating the computer catalog, and all of the tour participants clamored for materials about the Deaf. The library had only a few items. We almost lost them that day—why would they come back if we didn’t have anything about them" (Our deaf family, 2003)?
To help promote "See the story," the library will advertise "Deaf Awareness Week" to increase the success of our learning outcomes as well as market the various services the library offers to potential patrons.
Collaborate with various outreach programs and departments within one's branch to ensure library staff have the resources and technological equipment necessary to provide superior services to deaf and hard of hearing patrons.
The "Educational Resource Center on Deafness" is a non-profit organization in Texas that focuses on working with organizations
in order to provide information and services to meet the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students (ERCOD, n.d.).
"Texas Hands and Voices" aims to
help families with deaf children (Texas Hands & Voices™, 2015).
Existing state organizations with similar programs
The Houston Public Library is just one library system that has an access center for the visually and hearing impaired (Houston Public Library, n. d.).
Because of this, it is necessary to collect as much information as possible in order to understand
"Very little hard data existed on library use ...in the general library literature as a whole" (Saar & Arthur, 2013).
how often patrons interact with each other
how effective relationships are being built by members of the community
how often patrons learn about deaf culture and languages
To measure the effectiveness of the program, staff will be trained to keep a tally in the following areas:
Separate head count for adults and children in attendance
Observe interactions and interest of the group
Track new library card applications filled out after the program
Monitor how many patrons repeat attendance
Literacy on ASL and deaf culture
How often do people ask for ASL/hearing-impaired topics or resources compared to other language materials?
Track how often ASL materials or similar topics are checked out
See how many ASL or items of similar topics are placed in the reshelve area (this implies that the book was read at least in part)
While tracking attendance is excellent in determining how popular our program is, it fails to accurately depict patron satisfaction.
To make up for that shortcoming, staff overseeing that week's program will write a short reflection (half a page or more) detailing:
how smoothly the program ran (logistics, equipment working properly etc.)
how quickly the students developed interaction
special stories worth mentioning
areas of improvement
In order to determine what types of programs our patrons and community would enjoy, we developed and sent out a survey.
The survey created through Survey Monkey was emailed to all patrons over the age of 18 who supplied the library with their email address and agreed to receive library communications. Roughly 60% of our patrons have an email address on file. We had about a 35% response rate.
25% of respondents asked for more programs for children under ten.
55% of respondents expressed interest in participating in a program to help learn another language.
70% of those seeking more programs for children under ten also expressed interest in a second language immersion program.
The letter "A"
Words that start with "A": Apple, Ant, Aunt, Angry, Awesome, Afternoon
What are some words you know that start with "A"?
How to make the letter "A": With your palm facing away from you, make a fist, and then move your thumb over to the side of your hand
Minnesota Department of Human Services. (2015). Deaf culture. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/
National Association of the Deaf. (n. d.). American Sign Language. Retrieved from http://nad.org/issues/american-
Nomeland, M. M., & Nomeland, R. E. (2011). The deaf community in America : History in the making.
Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com
Playforth, S. (2004). Inclusive library services for deaf people: An overview from the social model perspective.
Health Information & Libraries Journal, 21
: 54–57. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-3324.2004.00518.x
Quintero, E. (2010). Something to say: Children learning through story.
Early Education and Development, 21
372-391. doi: 10.1080/10409280903440612
Rodriquez, R., & Reed, M. (2013). Our deaf family needs to read, too.
Public Libraries, 42
(1), 38-41. Retrieved from
Saar, M., & Arthur-Okor, H. (2013). Reference services for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Reference Services Review,
(3), 434-452. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/RSR-12-2012-0083
Stone, J. (1971).
The monster at the end of this book
. New York: Random House, Inc.
Texas Hands & Voices™. (2015). Welcome. Retrieved from http://www.txhandsandvoices.org/txhv/
Texas Hands & Voices™ [digital image]. (n. d.) Retrieved from
Emily - Signing the book, video and audio editing, technical writing,
editing and formatting, added supplemental material, ASL sample storytime agenda
Amanda - Book selection, audio reading of the book, formatting and editing of presentation, formatting, editing and relocation of references, population statistics, culture
"ASL is the backbone of American deaf culture" (National Association of the Deaf (NAD), n. d.).
Important Behavioral Norms:
make and maintain eye contact
only if getting attention of entire group (HubPages, 2013).
lightly tapping hand or stomping foot
Meet and Greet
hugs rather than handshakes
elaborately describe life and daily occurrences in conversation
open and direct conversations
(Minnesota Department of Human Services Online, 2015).
"Helen Keller said that being deaf is worse than being blind because being blind isolates one from things, but being deaf isolates one from people" (Meador & Zazove, 2005, p. 219).
inform deaf and/or hard of hearing persons of all aspects of the conversation, even if it is irrelevant to the person
announce all sounds in the environment
don't leave person wondering why eye contact has been lost
follow the ASL communication pattern
starts with the main point and winds down
(Meador & Zazove, 2005, p. 218).
U. S. Department of Commerce. (n. d.). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/
Vandell, D. L., Anderson, L.D., Ehrhardt, G., & Wilson, K. S. (1982). Integrating hearing and deaf preschoolers: An
attempt to enhance hearing children’s interactions with deaf peers.
Child Development, 53
Jennifer - Service, setting, and intended and unintended audience descriptions, need assessment and survey, and learning outcomes.
Jesus - Marketing Plan, Evaluation Plan, Provided feedback
ASL can be used for more than just communicating with the deaf and/or hard of hearing community. ASL can be used by divers, production staff for TV/Cinema, and event staff at concerts where speaking and hearing are problematic (Johnson, 2012).
Question 1: What age group would you like to see more programs or events at your local library?
Preschool age (0-6)
Elementary age (7-12)
Question 2: What type of preschool children's programs or events would you like to see at your local library?
Duel language learning
Arts and Crafts
Other [Enter Text Here]
Question 3: What type of elementary children's programs or events would you like to see at your local library?
After school programs/tutoring
Second language learning
Other [Enter Text Here]
Question 4: What type of teen programs or events would you like to see at your local library?
After school programs/tutoring
Second language learning
Other [Enter Text Here]
Question 5: What type of adult programs or events would you like to see at your local library?
Trivia game night
Other [Enter Text Here]
Question 6: What type of senior programs or events would you like to see at your local library?
Internet safety classes
Grandparent-grandchild craft time
Other [Enter Text Here]
Question 7: Any other suggestions or requests?
[Enter Text Here
Follow examples of other libraries that have had successful implementation of impairment programs. Consult with directors and present information at library conferences.
This is beneficial not only for evaluating the ASL Storytime program, but for general library statistics and methods for overall improvement.
An optional paper evaluation will be available, asking the adults in attendance short questions about the program, such as if they thought the material was relevant, engaging, worthwhile, and whether or not they plan to return. This feedback will help improve the program by utilizing ideas from both the staff and patron side.
Also, an area will be available in the evaluation where children can request their favorite books be included in the program.
Example of a Typical "See the Story"
Class begins with saying "hello" while signing that word, which is followed by learning and practicing a letter in the ASL alphabet. A new letter is selected for each week.
The children's literature book of the week is introduced and read by the storyteller, while the interpreter slowly signs the meaning of the words. The children's librarian will select the book based on potential interest, appropriate reading levels, and/or childrens' requests.
Brief example of a "See the Story" reading
These few pages, the audio, and the accompanying signs are from "The Monster at the End of this Book" by Jon Stone. The middle of the video includes the sign for "continue" to indicate that the middle portions of the book were not used in this example.
Concluding a class
Ask the children what their favorite part of the story was; the interpretter will sign those words from the story. Ask if they had any questions about the story and/of the signs. Welcome those who ask unrelated questions, such as how to sign a common word such as "cat" or "dog."
Ask the class if they remember learning the letter "A." Reward those that try to demonstrate what the sign is (whether they are correct or not) with praise and a sticker (with caretaker approval).
Hand out the printed hand gesture for the alphabet letter to each of the children, so they can practice at home, while answering any questions the caretakers may have about the class or program itself. Remind them that they can fill out an anonymous evaluation of the class, located near the exit, to help improve the program. Announce that the evaluation also includes an area where the children can request future books to include in the program.
When the children and caretakers are about to leave, the storyteller, interpretter, and any present library staff will sign "goodbye" at the end of each class while verbally saying the word. They will soon mimic and begin to associate the hand motions with the word.