by Emily Sitz
Four public libraries in western Kansas are on their way to becoming Family Place Libraries.
Pioneer Memorial Library (Colby), Goodland Public Library, Finney County Public Library (Garden City), and Grant County Public Library(Ulysses) are the first libraries in Kansas to join the national network of Family Place Libraries. The network now consists of 300 sites in 23 states.
The mission of Family Place Libraries™ is to increase the capacity of libraries throughout the nation to recognize and realize their full potential as community hubs for healthy child and family development, parent and community involvement and lifelong learning beginning at birth.
Public libraries in western Kansas are able to participate in the nation-wide program through the generous support of Smart Start Southwest Kansas and Smart Start Northwest Kansas. Seventeen Smart Start Kansas sites provide services in 47 counties with funds administered through the Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. The funds are used to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of early learning opportunities and to provide health services for children
Participating public library staff as well as staff from Smart Start Southwest, Smart Start Northwest, Northwest Kansas Library System, and the Southwest Kansas Library System attended the Family Place Institute at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, New York for training. Please visit the Family Place Libraries website at http://www.familyplacelibraries.org for more information on how you too can participate in this progressive movement in public library services.