For Libraries

TALK is available to all families a participating public library serves!

TALK: Text to Learn for Kindergarten was developed by librarians in 2017 to help caregivers of children from birth to five years prepare their children for school readiness and success. Unlike other similar text messaging services, TALK is based on the national research-based program “Every Child Ready to Read,” which encourages caregivers to read, write, talk, sing, and play with their children every day. TALK helps libraries engage caregivers of young children; it’s also a great way to reach potential new library users!

Participating libraries receive access to promotional toolkits and a Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) TALK portal account. In addition to the activity-based messages TALK sends to parents, the TALK portal allows you to both send custom library event and service notifications to TALK subscribers in your service area and generate user data reports to let your community partners see the impact of their work.

Interested in participating? Details on toolkits and how to successfully implement TALK in your community will be shared when you fill out the Library sign-up and questions form below.

Already a TALK library? Access the MCLS TALK portal by clicking the Sign in to the MCLS TALK Portal below!

Frequently Asked Questions for Libraries

How can my library subscribe to TALK?

Fill out this form to let us know your library is ready to join TALK!

Is TALK free for libraries in Michigan and Indiana?

No. During the initial grant period, the TALK program was available at no cost to libraries in Indiana and Michigan thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In January 2024, TALK became a subscription service of the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS). For information or questions on pricing, please contact us at talkhelp@mcls.org.

Does my library need to be a member of MCLS to sign up?

No.

Are there restrictions on how many users from a specific ZIP code are required for a library to participate?

No. Marketing at your library will likely attract more families to register for TALK. We encourage you to use our marketing materials to connect to your patrons.

Is it possible to make TALK successful in a small library with limited staff?

Absolutely! TALK was developed by staff at five libraries of various sizes in Washtenaw County in Michigan. Even a small library with one part-time youth staff member was able to spend time reaching out to local businesses and schools to connect with parents.

Can groups of libraries (such as cooperatives) sign up to assist their member libraries with participating?

Yes! Please complete the form and let us know you represent a cooperative so we can make a plan with you.

Can libraries work together to implement TALK in a broader region?

Yes. You can form your own coalition or work within existing cooperatives. Let us know if we can help you make connections with other libraries in your region.

See if a library near you is offering TALK.

What happens if my library didn't choose to continue with TALK as an MCLS subscription service?

Your library lost access to the TALK library portal if they did not subscribe to the TALK service by January 1, 2024. Your subscribers will continue to receive the standard TALK messages until the grant period is completed on July 31, 2024.  The will receive notices of when and why their service will be ending on July 31, 2024.