The Goleta Valley Library will use the $21,001 from the California State Library and Friends of the Goleta Valley Library to open an “Infant and Toddler Town” Family Corner on May 3.
The CSL provided a $15,000 grant to support the state’s Family Place Library Program that appro- priates public library space for young infants and their families. The Family Corner will incor- porate child-sized furniture with interactive toys and books to create a learning environment for young children.
According to Judy Savage, the GVL children’s librarian, the new programs will help familiarize fam- ily members and children with the
facility. “A lot of our programming start-
ed with preschoolers,” Savage said. “The Family Place workshops are aimed at parents with children ages 1 to 3, so it will get new families into the library sooner.”
Corinne Horowitz, president of Friends of the Goleta Valley Library, said the organization matched part of the state grant with a $5,001 donation and the city of Goleta also issued a $1,000 grant.
Horowitz said she expects the Family Corner to provide an important educational tool for the region’s youths.
“A child’s pre-preschool years are essential for child development because that’s where you start the first patterns that will be building blocks to learning and success in school,” Horowitz said.
The grant will also fund the five-part workshop series “Play With Me, Learn With Me” that will connect the GVL with local professionals to educate children and their parents about nutrition, dentistry and infant sleep problems, according to Horowitz.
“The idea is to give, first of all, the families and parents of these children good, sound advice from professionals about nutrition, child development and other things,” Horowitz said. “However, the space itself is being completely redevel- oped with preschool and manipula- tive toys which will expose these children to skills they will need later on in school.”
Savage said the workshops will also help introduce parents to the library’s various services for toddlers. “Really, young parents may not realize how much we
have for them to utilize with their children,” Savage said. “With the workshops, we will hopefully draw in new families who will get linked into having their children grow up in a library.”
The first series of workshops will begin on May 11 and continue every Friday until June 8. The library aims to offer the program on a quarterly basis in the future.
Additional information about the Goleta Valley Library and its new Family Corner is available at sbplibrary.org.