Since starting my position in Newark Valley, I have been finding ways to make the children’s section a friendlier space for our youngest visitors. All of the kids books and Young Adult books were stuffed on shelves that lined the walls of the basement. There are two tables one for adults and one for kids, but no really comfortable place to spend time. There are plenty of picture books and easy readers packed in, but very little to encourage people to stay for awhile.
To change that I moved all the Young Adult books upstairs. Personally, I think this will be more inviting for teens anyway. All of the Juvenile books have been shifted over to where the YA books had been. The picture books have been spread out so that now the top shelf contains Parenting, and educational books, the second shelf has front facing books, and the bottom two shelves have all the picture books.
Last year, I asked the local quilting group to create new cushions for the space. They did an amazing job creating adorable pillows we can use for story-time! The only downside is kids fighting over the one Sponge Bob pillow. I’ve also added a rug, and obtained some new Early Literacy games.
During Summer Reading last year I made a jumbo sized Bananagrams game, and even laminated the cards. Along with that I made a fruit matching game taken out of the manual. This year I created a play mailbox to add to the space. Visitors can send a postcard to their favorite book character, and receive a response. All of these additions have been positively received by parents. There has been an increase of circulation of the parenting books, and some have enjoyed playing games with their little ones.