Family Place Library
The Pembroke Town Library was awarded a Preschool Development Grant from the Granite United Way at the beginning of 2023. The grant’s purpose is to strengthen and support families with young children by building capacity within local libraries and partners. This grant will help our library become a Family Place Library; a nationally recognized program that started in New York at Middle County Public Library. Our library will be sending the library director, Ryan, and our children's librarian, Caitlin, to New York in October to complete a four-day training.
A Family Place Library is a center for early childhood information, parent education, emergent literacy, socialization and family support. Expanding the traditional role of children’s services, Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.
Core components of a Family Place Library are:
- Collections of books, toys, music and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, parents and service providers
- A specially designed, welcoming early learning space within the children's area for families with young children
- The Parent/Child Workshop - a five week program that involves toddlers and their parents and caregivers; features local professionals who serve as resources for parents; emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children; facilitates early intervention; and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy
- Coalition- building with community agencies that serve families and young children to connect parents to community resources and develop programs and services tailored to meet local needs
- Outreach to new and non -traditional library users, especially parents and very young children (beginning at birth)
- Developmentally appropriate programming for very young children and their parents, and
- Library staff trained in family support, child development, parent education and best practices
To learn more about the Family Place Library model, go to this website; https://www.familyplacelibraries.org
As many of us know, large projects like this one, get accomplished with support from amazing people far and wide. If you would like to help our library make our Family Place Library special and long lasting we would appreciate any help we can get. By helping our library it would allow us to provide excellent services to our community members and help us spread the word of the Family Place Library to other NH public libraries that may be looking to support early childhood development.
The major pieces to our workshop are durable toys and activities that fit into these categories; Infant Toys, Puzzles, Music, Dramatic Play, Transportation Toys, Exploratory, & Gross Motor. The other major piece to our workshop is hosting local professionals that would come one or two times a year for up to an hour and half to provide guidance and resource sharing to families in our community. The Family Place model recommends the following resource professionals at the start of our program; Pediatricians, Children Dentists/Hygienists, Dietitians; Speech & Language Pathologist/OT; and Dance or Music Instructors.
If you or someone you know would like to donate their time to help our community thrive, or donate new items for our workshop, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.