Different Yet the Same – from museum to library to museum

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Blockopolis in Playscape at Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

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Waterfall in Playscape

The workshop this morning was provided by Family Place Libraries™ and held at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  We also heard from the Children’s Library of Manhattan.  Do you sense the pattern here?

Children’s museums get it.  They are based on the concept of interactive, hand-on learning.  They acknowledge and celebrate the vital link between play and learning.  What about the Family Place Library?

A Family Place Library is a center for early childhood information, parent education, emergent literacy, socialization and family support.  (They) redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth…

A major part of their redesign of a new Family Place Library is to provide a welcoming space that includes developmentally appropriate materials and resources which accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities.  Another way to say this?  Open-ended play, informal and unstructured.  They want to create a paradigm shift from Librarian as Expert to Librarian as Facilitator.  They seek to create a partnership with families and the community, to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning in an open and welcoming environment.  Yes!

More on the actual workshop after I take a nap.  Conferences are exhausting.  And it hasn’t even started yet!

About Tracee Yawger

Head of Children's Services, Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library
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