Friday, July 21, 2017

Siouxland Libraries is a Family Place

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, the Downtown Library of Siouxland Libraries officially joined the 400-site, 27-state Family Place Libraries™ network. Kathy Deerr, national coordinator for the program, attended the dedication.

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Siouxland Libraries began work on the Family Place Libraries™ initiative in 2015. This model of service incorporates programming, early learning spaces, community connection and family support to help ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn. To learn more about Family Place Libraries™ visit,

With this grant and Family Place Libraries™ certification in mind, the Downtown Library redesigned the children’s area to support parents as their child’s first teacher. The children’s area fills a gap for families in the Siouxland area as a safe, cost-free, and educational space to spend time, interact and learn.

When entering the children’s area, families are greeted by a large mural with clouds that say, “Read, Write, Talk, Sing, and Play” in various colors. A nearby discovery table features LEGO® duplos and/or squiggez for free play. The discovery table encourages creativity for the birth-to-five age group and extends to learning for the school-age group.

Next to this area is the Lily Pad Lane Room, designed for children ages birth to two. Low book bins allow babies and toddlers to safely pick up and browse for books. A large, cushioned play area with a soft slide encourages babies to crawl, explore, and discover the play area. Babies and toddlers love interaction, so the room is equipped with a mirror with a wooden bar that babies can use to pull themselves up.

The last area redesigned through the Family Play Space Project is the Play and Learn Room, which houses developmentally appropriate toys and our quarterly Parent/Child Workshop programs. Children learn through play and this space encourages adult/child interaction and open-ended play with quality materials. The Play and Learn Room is available to families all day on weekends and on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.