Initiative Transforms Libraries into Early Learning Centers for Families

(NewsUSA) – Remember your first library card? For many children, the library opened up doors to other worlds and was a haven to study, learn, and explore. And it still is. While most libraries around the country offer summer reading programs and story time to engage families, one organization is encouraging libraries across the country to do more. The Family Place Libraries initiative is a national program that advocates the idea of the library as a community center for early childhood and family development. “Family Place gives the librarians a comprehensive framework,” Kathleen Deerr, national coordinator for Family Place Libraries told Publishers Weekly in an interview last year. “It’s about connecting people with everything they need to build healthier, better families.” The point, Deerr told the magazine, is to “empower librarians and families.” The program began as a collaboration between New York’s Middle Country Public Library and the now-defunct, nonprofit Libraries for the Future. The Family Place Libraries model features interactive, hands-on spaces within libraries that focus on the early learning and literacy of children from birth to three years old, while also supporting the needs of parents and caregivers. “When we can share the research about how the program can build strong brains and that children learn through play, people begin to understand that we are creating a rich environment where children can explore and discover, and adults can meet friends and get support,” Deerr told the magazine. Currently, the Family Place Libraries network includes more than 450 sites in 29 states, and continues to grow. With its national impact clear, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has thrown its considerable weight behind the program and awarded a $450,000 National Leadership Grant to Middle Country to demonstrate the value of Family Place. With this added support, 25 libraries in eight states have established new Family Place sites. Stacey Aldrich, former state librarian for the California State Library, says that she was introduced to the Family Place Libraries concept through Libraries for the Future and was impressed, adding that, “to watch the model flourish in California has been immensely satisfying.” “To see a grown man sitting in a kids’ chair, playing with his child, or a grandparent doing a puppet show — it’s special. It’s gratifying to provide this kind of space, where people can meet, talk to other parents, and learn and grow with their kids.” For more information, visit www.familyplacelibraries.org.

Local News

The Conrady Junior High School seventh-grade choir sings holiday songs before the beginning of the Hills Chamber's Christmas Party and "State of the Cities" addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory Hills Community Center. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

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Tri-State Tollway lane closures Friday night over I-55

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Bourbons Smokehouse will hold a grand opening on Friday at Sheep's Food District in Orland Hills. (Photo by Bob Bong)

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Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

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Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound December 7, 2022

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Restaurant wall comes alive with art

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The Conrady Junior High School seventh-grade choir sings holiday songs before the beginning of the Hills Chamber's Christmas Party and "State of the Cities" addresses Tuesday night at the Hickory Hills Community Center. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Palos Hills, Hickory Hills mayors optimistic about business growth

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IllinoisTollwayLogo_HiRes

Tri-State Tollway lane closures Friday night over I-55

Overnight lane closures are scheduled this weekend for concrete work on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (I-294) over I-55. Traffic delays are expected. Beginning at 8 p.m. on tonight, December 9, and continuing until noon on Saturday, December 10, traffic on northbound I-294 between 75th Street and Joliet Road, traffic will be reduced to a single lane.…

Bourbons Smokehouse will hold a grand opening on Friday at Sheep's Food District in Orland Hills. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Grand opening today for Bourbons Smokehouse at Sheep’s Food District

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reporter oak lawn police logo

Man charged in fatal Oak Lawn shooting outside hospital

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Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau sounds off Monday night about what he liked and didn't like about changes to the SAFE-T Act. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

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Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz encourages the city to build a wall honoring volunteers during Tuesday night's council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

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John Mahoney is not seeking re-election as the mayor of Palos Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

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Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound December 7, 2022

Mary Stanek

Restaurant wall comes alive with art

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly–Unknown author. My favorite watering hole in years past, Andy’s, at 57th Place and Pulaski, has been a restaurant now for a few years. I recently noticed…

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Something to be truly thankful for

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Thank you, one and all, for the texts and calls. I wasn’t feeling well last week and couldn’t write my column. I didn’t have COVID-19. I had that before there were vaccines for it. For me, COVID-19 was no big deal. On my worst day…

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