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We Are a Family Place Library

Angie Andre

by Angie Andre
Children’s Librarian
Tredyffrin Public Library

We proudly announce that we are a Family Place Library. You may see this statement and think to yourself, huh? What does this mean?  I am glad you asked because it means a lot.

Family Place Libraries LogoFamily Place Libraries™ is a network of children’s librarians nationwide who believe that literacy begins at birth, and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. The Family Place Libraries network currently includes more than 400 sites in 27 states and continues to grow.”(2009)

My first year as a Children’s Librarian I really wanted to expand our programming for young children. I decided that becoming a Family Place Library would help to meet my goals as well as support the PA Forward initiative to promote Basic Literacy.  The first step was to write a grant for the funds required for the training and materials. I was fortunate to receive a grant from LSTA.  After being accepted to participate in the program, a staff member and I were off for a week-long intense training.  We returned from training with big ideas and lots of plans. We were able to implement everything we set out to do.

We learned about the following core components of a Family Place Library and started to incorporate these elements into our library.

  1. Collection of toys, books, music, multimedia for babies, toddlers, parents and service providers.
  2. Parent & Child Workshops.
  3. Building partnerships with community agencies that serve families and children.
  4. Providing outreach to nontraditional library populations.
  5. Offering developmentally appropriate programming for very young children and parents.
  6. Library staff trained in family support such as child development, parent education, and best practices.

bookshelvesWe moved the parenting collection from the stacks to the area in the children’s department where children play. Having the parenting books near the children’s play area makes it much more convenient for parents to browse this collection while their child plays.

We moved the parenting collection from the stacks to the area in the children’s department where children play. Having the parenting books near the children’s play area makes it much more convenient for parents to browse this collection while their child plays.

Play Kitchen
The play kitchen is a hit with the younger crowd.

 

 

 

Almost nothing can compare to the train table. The children love it.  Train TableSometimes we find a stray dinosaur that jumped on the tracks and that is just fine with us. It makes for a very interesting train ride.

 

In addition to the new materials we were able to purchase, we also introduced new programs to our schedule.  We conduct a yearly Parent and Child workshop in the fall. This is a 5 week workshop that happens once per week for one hour. Each week a different community professional talks about their area of expertise for 15 minutes and the remainder of the hour is spent playing with our extensive collection of toys.

In addition to a librarian talk about early literacy, a nutritionist, sign language expert, music therapist, and an early childhood education expert.

Throughout the year we offer a program called ABC Play with Me. This program starts with a short story and activity and continues with play. This is a time for children and parents to play, grow, socialize and have a good time.toys fp

We also offer a resource area for parents. We have a large plexiglass rack that holds brochures about parenting resources in the community, education, nutrition, development, and much more.

Becoming a Family Place Library is a way for you to catapult PA Forward and support Basic Literacy.

(2009). What Makes a Family Place Library? Retrieved from https://www.familyplacelibraries.org/whatMakes.html

PA Forward Logo of Five LiteraciesShare what your library has done to promote basic literacy for the children at your library through the PA Forward Best Practices Short Form, and see what other libraries are doing on the PA Forward Best Practices Database. Please visit www.familyplacelibraries.org for more details about becoming a Family Place Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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