Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

The Family-Centered Library Handbook

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

The Family-Centered Library Handbook

Article excerpt

Feinberg, Sandra, Kathleen Derr and Barbara A. Jordan, Marcellina Byrne, and Lisa G. Kropp. The Family-Centered Library Handbook. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007. 324pp. $65 USD. ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-541-3.

Public libraries striving to position themselves as community hubs will find valuable strategies and resources in this handbook. By acknowledging both the individuality of the child and the important role of caregivers, the authors explore collaborative ways to build on traditional children's services.

Serving as the primary text for the Family Place Libraries. Training Institute in New York, this book is organized into sixteen comprehensive chapters. Part I, Preparing for a Family-Centered Library, explains the synergetic philosophy of the program and includes core competencies for staff in delivering services to families and working in partnership with other agencies. An overview of early childhood developmental stages is provided, along with cultural differences in parenting styles.

Part II, Developing Services for Young Children and Parents, puts the theory into practice. Libraries planning renovations to create welcoming, accessible family environments will find many helpful design considerations. Nineteen programs including "Mother Goose/Rhyme Time," "Little Signing Hands: Baby Sign Language Program," and "Apple of my Eye: Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention" are summarized. Details include a program overview, partnering organizations, and cost in terms of both supplies and staffing. While many of the offerings are familiar, the practical tips and caveats from seasoned programmers are noteworthy. The authors also explore ways to seamlessly integrate parent education into existing library programs.

Three chapters are devoted to collection development. …

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