Family Place Library

two boys looking at a book on the floor of the children's area at koelbel library
In October 2015, Sheridan Library was officially designated as our third Family Place Library. View photos from Sheridan's Family Place designation event.

What is a Family Place Library? Family Place Libraries redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth; connect parents with the resources, programs and services offered at the library and other family service agencies; and reach out to non-traditional library users.

Which branches are designated Family Place Libraries? We began implementing Family Place in 2012 and now have Family Place sites at Koelbel, Smoky Hill and Sheridan libraries.

How did we become a Family Place Library? Staff redesigned the children's spaces and added comfortable seating for adults. In addition to Koelbel's play kitchen and puppet theater, an early literacy toy cupboard with blocks, dolls and a variety of manipulative toys, as well as a Duplo and writing table, were added to create a larger and more interactive environment for parents and young children. At Smoky Hill, an alcove room was repurposed by adding language-inspired learning toys, trains and a dollhouse. Sheridan has a custom-play structure that serves as a café, vet clinic, science lab, building station or puppet theater, in addition to a Duplo and writing tables and a large magnetic board.

What else do we offer in addition to our play areas? In addition to our special play spaces, we have parenting collections, trained staff and Grow with Me Workshops twice each year. In this way, the library connects parents with community resources and child development specialists, as well as programs and services offered at the library and within the community.

LIBRARY SPOTLIGHT: Read more about how we support early learning in our Family Place Libraries spotlight.

Learn about how the "Family Place" library program is transforming libraries.