The library is a place for readers, but a new program at the Georgetown Public Library is focused on toddlers and infants who may be too young to hold a book. The Family Place Libraries program aims to make the Library a welcoming environment for preschoolers and their parents who can learn from experts about child development, nutrition, play, and learning.
The Family Place Libraries program is funded by a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, one of two grants that the Library has received this year. The aim of Family Place Libraries is to redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth. The program also involves outreach to non-traditional library users and connecting parents with the resources, programs, and services offered at the library and other family service agencies. The program recognizes that good health, early learning, parental involvement, and supportive communities each play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.
“This grant is targeted to preschoolers because brain development from ages 0 to 3 is so fast and so important,” says Bethni King, children’s librarian at the Georgetown Public Library. “The grant will help us focus on our collection and focus on our space in the children’s area.”
In addition to toys, games, and books, King says starting next year, the Library is planning to host workshops with experts in child development, nutrition, and parenting. The Family Place Libraries program also includes an assessment and certification process to guide the implementation. Find out more at www.familyplacelibraries.org.
King and Library Director Eric Lashley will attend a three-day training program in Long Island, New York in November. The grant covers the cost of the training and provides $6,000 to implement programs following the Family Place Libraries model.
The Library has received a second grant from the Texas Book Festival for $2,270 for the Library’s Book Club in a Bag collection. The grant is funded by proceeds from the annual Texas Book Festival in Austin.
The Book Club in a Bag program allows one member of a book club to checkout ten copies of a particular title for the entire club. Discussion guides are included with the materials. The grant will allow the Library to expand the program with 25 new titles. A bag can be checked out for two months up to one year in advance.
The new Book Club in a Bag titles should be available by August 1. To find out more about the program or to check out a Book Club in a Bag, contact Sally Miculek, assistant library services director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 931-7620.