Goleta Library joins the nearly 300 libraries nationwide dedicated to providing services to families with young children. In addition to the $15,000, the Friends of the Goleta Valley Library have provided $6,001 in matching funds for the grant.
The new “Infant and Toddler Town” Family Corner will be equipped with toys, books, and comfortable furniture, creating an attractive and exciting space designed specifically for young children. The library setting supports early-learning interactions between young children (ages 0 to 5 years), parents, and caregivers, and encourages the use of public libraries by families with children. All the new materials were selected so that they would enhance the development of young children’s learning, enabling them to become school ready.
“This is a very innovative program that the state is offering, and the Santa Barbara Public Library System is fortunate to have been given this opportunity,” said Allison Gray, the Goleta Library’s Supervisor and grant writer. “Our staff is looking forward to being able to provide this new area and these programs,” continued Gray. “Once we have the program running, we will be able to train staff at our other libraries, and therefore bring elements of the program to libraries throughout the South County.”
In addition the new Family Corner, library staff will partner with local professionals to offer frequent sessions of the Play With Me, Learn With Me Parent/Child Workshops which meet weekly for 5 weeks. In these workshops, parents will play with their children using age-appropriate materials, have the opportunity to ask local experts about topics that concern them, learn nursery rhymes, songs and fingerplays. Goleta Library staff has also created a Parenting Collection with timely and pertinent circulating materials on topics of interest to parents and their toddlers. As part of the grant process, two staff members received three days of training on the program, and are now training the rest of the staff on how to interact with families in a new way. The Goleta Library will be known as a place with knowledgeable staff that successfully focuses on literacy, early childhood development, education and family services.
The first Play With Me, Learn With Me Parent/Child Workshop series will begin Friday, May 11th, and continue through June 8th. Parents and caregivers with children ages 1 – 3 can register to attend.
The Grand Opening of the dedicated early childhood play space will be Thursday, May 3rd at 10:30 a.m.
Local officials and community partners will be in attendance.
This project is supported in whole or part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. For more information contact the Goleta Library at 805-964-7878. Visit the Santa Barbara Library System’s web site at www.sbplibrary.org.