Will Rogers Library patrons may have noticed some changes happening throughout the library over the past several weeks. This week the new Littlest Learners area is open for the use of the library’s youngest patrons (and parents!) with new furniture, learning toys and board books in a space all their own.
“We were getting a lot of requests from the parents of our babies and toddlers saying that other libraries were creating spaces with activities for this age group, and asking why we didn’t have one,” said Library Director Sherry Beach. “So we went to a few other libraries in the area to see what they had, and to see if there were some way we could meet these requests. At first we weren’t sure we could, as the library’s open floorplan isn’t always conducive to the ‘separate space’ concept. But then we took a look at what used to be the Storytime Steps area, which was largely unused, and realized that with a little creative effort, we actually had the perfect space!”
During the recent lighting replacement, the Will Rogers Library had to close for two days due to the installation equipment in the building. During those two days the Storytime Steps were removed, and new carpeting and smaller size furniture and shelving was brought in especially for toddlers. The Friends of the Library contributed by purchasing several discovery toys targeted specifically for developing learning, letter recognition, and evolving motor skills. On April 1st, the Claremore Moms will be hosting a Bookfair fundraiser in coordination with Barnes & Noble (in-store and online) to raise money for more books and toys especially for these ‘littlest learners’.
“We’re thrilled to be able to respond to our patron requests in this manner” said Children’s Librarian Tena Cassity. “We hope our parents and toddlers will really be able to utilize the space to read and play together”. The library does emphasize that this is not a ‘drop off’ area, and parents are asked to stay in the space with their little ones while they are engaging with the books and toys, both for safety and to encourage parents to be actively involved in these important first steps in their child’s learning process.
“This is just the first of a few changes coming,” said Beach. “We hope to move most of the teen and adult Internet computers out of the younger children’s area soon, and have the entire space focused on the AWE children’s learning computers for our younger learners. The Internet computers will move to the middle of the library, where we’re also creating a Young Adult space targeted to our teen patrons. The Littlest Learner area is just the beginning, and it will continue to have more added to it over time as well”.
The new Littlest Learner area in the Will Rogers Library is located just past the children’s AWE learning computers on the south side of the library building. Parent, bring your little ones and check it out!