The Daviess County Public Library, with only one location, serves a population of approximately 100,000 people in Owensboro and Daviess County, Kentucky. Over 3,500 people visit the children’s area to play and check out materials each month. The children’s area is equipped with developmentally appropriate toys for children ages birth- 5, with a separate space with toys for children ages 6+. The toys available include a ball wall, a Lite Brite wall, puppet theater with puppets, kitchen, tool bench, dress-up clothes, doll house, puzzles, blocks, and more. Near the play area, the DCPL has a board book collection (850 items), parenting resources, and a parenting collection (44 items). The library offers a wide variety of programs available for families with young children, including Tiny Dancers, Little Leonardos, Mighty Minds, Mini Thinkers, Little Sprouts, and of course our Parent Child workshop named Ready, Set, Play. The DCPL also visits approximately 50 different preschools every month.
The DCPL reopened the play area in our children’s space June 2021 and resumed in-person Ready, Set, Play parent/child workshop in September 2021. During COVID-19 restrictions, the library provided take-home craft and STEAM kits to children, as well as virtual story time and other virtual programming. During the summer, the DCPL outreach services followed the Summer Feeding food trucks on their routes to distribute free books and activity kits to children. The library also offered two five-week, virtual Ready, Set, Play parent/child workshops in 2020 and 2021, in which we gave each family a toy and book to keep each week, along with a weekly WebEx meeting featuring a different community partner. The Daviess County Public Library works hard to be an essential part of our community.