Improved and Expanded Library Programming
Programming has been evaluated and plans for expanding programming for children birth to six and their parents/caregivers are under way. The system is examining how best to build partnerships within the early care and education community, is evaluating options for the most successful use of staff capacity in outreach opportunities and is identifying potential parent/caregiver training/programming as well.
To give just a brief snapshot of the power and impact of youth services at DCLS, in September alone 118 programs for children took place with 1,554 child contacts and 850 adults contacts. Of those child contacts 1,110 of them were with children under that age of six. These are significant as they serve a population at the most crucial time of their brain development. These years are incredibly important. The brain experiences more growth and development in the first years of life than it will at any other time.
The library is serving children and families at a time in the child’s life when families often have the least support. Families need to take advantage of those first years of life when a child’s brain is developing in ways that it will never do again in life. The potential for learning and success are set in those first years and cannot be “gotten back” later in life. However, these years come well before the formal educational process begins and parents and caregivers often do not have the background, skill sets or knowledge to best take advantage of the early learning opportunity.
DCLS can provide valuable information and support during these crucial years. The library is truly the preschoolers door to learning. However, it is the parent or caregiver who has to open that door.
DCLS will continue to explore and develop new and innovative ways of providing services that respond to the needs of children and families in Dauphin County.