A stroll through the entrance of the library at Pierce will reveal a new addition at the front of the welcome desk.
Colorful bags hanging from a coat rack with a cheerful sign next to them.
These are activity kits and are now available for children to use during a visit to the library.
The kits offer a variety of entertainment and could keep minors busy while their guardians get some homework done.
Three activity kits are available on campus—one for infants, another for toddlers and the last for preschoolers.
The librarians are working to create a more family-friendly space and these kits are the product of several librarians wishing to send a message.
“We hope that we’re making a statement that we want families. Not just that you can study here, we want you here, we want you to know you’re welcome here,” says Librarian Beth Thoms.
The three kits, along with the other three at the Fort Steilacoom campus, are the products of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This institute offers federal support for museums and libraries and conducts research via evaluations and surveys.
Each kit is specially designed for one of three age ranges. For example, the preschooler kits have games like Uno, advanced puzzles and some math exercises. They’re checked on periodically and replenished when the need arises.
The combined bags cost a total of between $150-200. Librarians figured out what young children would be interested in and then purchased individual items to piece together a kit. A few of the librarians were already parents and that made the decision of purchasing easier. In some instances, kit inventories came from the older children of the librarians themselves, as has been the case for Thoms.
“We want to be family-friendly and children need stuff to play with and we welcome them,” says Thoms.
Thoms’ hope is to make the kid corner of the library (right outside LSC 207) more of a designated place.
She says she’d like to one day include things like a table, some chairs and a few toys. Part of this desire is due to the number of children coming to campus with their guardians, specifically on Saturdays and during the evenings when childcare options like a daycare would be over.
Thoms also hopes the library will eventually begin offering more programmatic options, like evening tutoring for parents or tutoring in general for children.
These plans aren’t currently in the making, but Thoms is hopeful they one day will be.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost