Project Profiles Your Friendly Neighborhood Library: An Inviting Space, a Family Place | The Information Professional |

Stacey A. Aldrich:

"When an initiative known as Family Place introduced a new children’s programming model that encourages libraries to go beyond summer reading programs and story hours to reach their full potential as community hubs, the California State Library took notice.

As a collaboration that began in 1996 between New York’s Middle Country Public Library and the now-defunct nonprofit Libraries for the Future, the Family Place model promotes spaces within libraries that focus on the learning and literacy of children ages 0–3, while also supporting the needs of the entire family. Family Place principles have now been refined and translated into a replicable framework that gives all libraries the chance to look at their children’s services in a fresh way. More than 300 sites in 23 states are currently part of the expanding Family Place Libraries network.

Stacey Aldrich, state librarian for the California State Library, was impressed by Family Place when she was introduced to the concept through Libraries for the Future.

"Family Place is amazing," says Aldrich. "They really make libraries think about the environments they’re creating for families. Family Place library spaces are designed for the family to fully engage and interact—parents and caregivers, as well as children."