Library expands space for youngest patrons
September 16, 2014
The Children’s Department of Joplin Public Library has expanded and redesigned their play space focusing on the library’s youngest patrons, children birth to age five. This improved space is part of the library’s initiative to join the Family Place Library network, that was initiated in 1996 in Long Island, New York, now includes more than 250 libraries nationally. The Library’s new play space includes comfortable seating for adults and children; a board book reading nook; a quiet area for playing with blocks, puzzles, and other manipulatives; and the dramatic play elements of a puppet theater, doll house, train table, and a kitchen.

Four Joplin Public Library staff members attended the Family Place training in New York and incorporated key components of the initiative. These components include outreach to families that are not currently library users, partnerships with community agencies, availability of parent resources, and a welcoming space in-library, and including age-appropriate books and learning toys.

Funds for the space were generously provided by the Bramlage Family Foundation. When asked about the new play space, children’s librarian Jeana Gockley said, “We are excited to have this amazing and fun space to offer our community!”

For more information on specific programs phone the Children’s Department at (417) 623-2184.

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