Start a Program in Your Town

To set up a program in your area, follow the 10 steps below. If you have any questions, please contact us. We provide free support and help to make the process easier for you.

1. Select a hospital or health care provider in your area. Books for Texas Babies aims to serve the most needy first so local poverty statistics should be carefully considered.  

2. Establish a working partnership between the public library and the selected hospital. “Friends” groups and foundations associated with the hospital and public library may be particularly interested. A small working group should be set up to develop the project.

3. Name your program:  Books for (your area) Babies.

4. Determine the scope of the program for the selected hospital. Will books be provided only to newborns or will they be given to clinics for distribution at prenatal and well child visits? The hospital’s birth and clinic visit statistics from the previous year can give an idea of the approximate number of books needed. The ethnic break down of those births shows in which languages the book should be printed in order to be most useful.

5. Secure funding through grants and donors. This is the responsibility of the library and hospital representatives.  

6. Make the book selection. VAMOS A LEER / READ TO ME by Judi Moreillon, illustrated by Kyra Teis, has worked well for the program, but other bilingual book choices are possible. After funding has been secured, the organization providing the funds should contact Deborah Shine, publisher of Star Bright Books in Boston, if VAMOS A LEER has been selected.  Cost for VAMOS A LEER / READ TO ME with alterations was $3.55/book delivered for an order of 7,000 books in 2015. Payment arrangements are made directly between funding organization and publisher.   

7. Establish a working group to develop the logo and wording for the instructional pages and back cover of the book selected. This includes donor acknowledgements, thank yous, etc. Wording changes must be received by the publisher 5 months before program kick-off date to guarantee timely delivery.

8. Set up procedures for delivering books to the hospital, delivering books to mothers on the ward, re-ordering books, storing books off site and at the hospital, and metrics (if desired). Once it is going, the program requires very little staff time, just ordering books from the publisher and arranging for deliveries of books from storage site to hospital unit. Giving the books to the new mothers can be handled by current hospital staff in existing interactions with the mothers. Important Note: The book is to be handed to the mothers and the importance of reading to babies and library info discussed at that time. The book is not to become just another item stuffed in a goodie-bag handed to mother as she leaves.

9. Plan a schedule for meeting at certain intervals to access the program and make changes or additions. A new book selection should be made every couple of years to provide variety in the community.

10. For further information on establishing a Books for Texas Babies program in your area, please contact Trish Holland, MPH, the program’s founder, at Trisholland@aol.com or (214) 943-4042. She’s happy to help for free.