Here are some of the free programs and services available to kids in our community:
• Nearly 40 preschools and daycares are visited by Katherine Habley, Karen Gordon and Nancy Holland. Children at these sites in the community enjoy stories and activities with ICPL’s outreach staff. Each fall, all the sites are sent information on how to schedule 30-minute storytimes at their location.
• Pheasant Ridge and the Broadway Street Neighborhood Centers have libraries in the lobbies with large collections of children’s books available for children to read. Library discards are routinely sent to these two places, along with deposit collections of children’s books at 4’s, the Shelter House, DVIP, the Department of Public Health, DHS, and Mercer Aquatic Center (during the summer). A small budget is allocated for the purchase of new children’s books for both neighborhood center libraries.
• Stories in the Park are offered for eight weeks during the summer in partnership with Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department. Storytimes for 3- to 6-year-olds are held at Willow Creek Park and at Mercer Park. This summer, ICPL outreach staff did storytimes about eight different countries to go along with the 2011 Summer Reading Program theme, “One World, Many Stories.”
• Kindergarten Visits are scheduled every May with all Iowa City elementary schools. Children’s Department staff talk with each class of kindergarteners about the importance of getting their own library card, share a couple of picture books or stories, and encourage children to read over the summer and join the Summer Reading Program. Kindergarten children who show their library card at the Children’s Desk in May, June or July may select a free paperback book to keep as a reward for having their own library card.
Children’s Librarian Katherine Habley oversees the many ways young patrons who can’t get to the downtown library can still have access to books and programs. These are just some of the ways your local public library is reaching out to children in the community. For more information, contact Habley at 319-887-6029 or visit http://icpl.org/kids/outreach.php.