In 2016, PJ Library launched a program that offers parents the opportunity to select a free book for themselves. Parent Book Choice entered its second year this spring with nearly 59,000 parents participating — an increase of 13,000 parents from the first year. The Parent Book Choice webpage on the PJ Library website received more than 44,000 unique page views this year, and 17,500 parents watched a live author chat on the PJ Library Facebook page. As an exciting component of the larger PJ Library family engagement strategy, Parent Book Choice is helping us to develop a better understanding of the topics and resources that successfully engage PJ Library parents.
Through surveys, feedback, and above all, their actual book selections, parents are expressing their literary preferences: family activity books, Jewish parenting books, and holiday and ritual guides. We have learned that parents value the opportunity to decide which book appeals to them most, given their interests, the ages of their children, their parenting challenges, and the nature of their own Jewish journey. Book choices reinforced what we hear consistently: PJ Library parents want to be engaged as parents and with their kids.
With this in mind, we’re developing more opportunities to give parents content they can use. In an effort to showcase PJ Library’s growing database of digital resources, updated book flaps will also direct parents to even more resources on the PJ Library website.
Results from the PJ Library triennial evaluation show that 65% of parents feel that PJ Library “increased their confidence to engage with their children regarding Jewish traditions, values, and/or customs.” Parent engagement — including Parent Book Choice, in-the-envelope family activities, updated book flaps, and online resources — offers parents a growing set of creative tools to help them become more effective at facilitating Jewish conversations and experiences at home. Currently, we are honing in on titles for 2018 Parent Book Choice, and can’t wait to begin stuffing envelopes — for parents only.