Becoming a Family Place Library was the best thing we could have done for our community and staff. The training has been and continues to be vital to our Children’s Library staff and their ability to provide quality early literacy programs. The community is growing quickly and word is spreading like wildfire about the great storytimes and family-learning opportunities that are provided at Sims Library.
In 2021 our Children’s programming fluctuated between virtual and in-person as we navigated COVID and staff exposures. During high peaks, we provided “Make and Take” crafts. We also implemented more activity bags that could be checked out. These bags included books and activities that corresponded to the books, such as fake money for counting. Some programs went virtual, such as our LEGO club and storytimes, but participation was low due to screen burnout. We had to remove our family place play area and toys, but once the COVID numbers receded, we introduced a program called “playgroup” which allowed kids and their parents to come in at set hours to utilize these toys, puzzles, and games. We had a staff member lead playgroup, and once it was over the toys were removed and sanitized for the next event.
The Family Place program continues to be a great asset to our library, the library staff, and our community. Even though times look a little different right now, we can still see the benefits of this program upon our community.