The Children’s Room at the Norman Williams Public Library was created as part of the library’s major renovation in 2000. Named for Mary Hitchcock French, a granddaughter of Frederick Billings, the space occupies about one-third of the buildings overall square footage and accounts for nearly half the library’s circulation.
With a carefully curated collection of professionally reviewed material and many classics, the children’s room meets the needs and interests of our community of patrons, including children of all ages, parents/grandparents/caregivers, and educators. There are board books for babies, award-winning picture books, easy readers, and the best in juvenile and young adult fiction and non-fiction. There are audio books, DVDs, graphic novels, and books with companion audio CDs. The area also hosts a dedicated section of parenting resources.
With a plethora of educational games, puzzles and toys, the children’s room is a wonderful meeting place for friends of all ages and a great place for families to spend quality time together playing and reading.
The youth services division offers programming for children throughout the year with weekly baby story time for birth through age 3, preschool story time for 3 to 6 years olds, and outreach programs to local nursery school/child care centers (Woodstock Nursery, Rainbow Playschool and Woodstock Christian Childcare).
These activities promote early literacy among our youngest citizens and a comfort and familiarity with the library and its staff, who serve as trusted, caring and helpful adults to our younger population as they grow up. The library provides a safe and engaging place for children to go after school to be with friends, do homework and pursue special interests.
During the summer, the library hosts a Summer Reading Program to sustain reading engagement for students throughout the summer months. In addition to keeping track of reading hours, the Summer Reading Program hosts special weekly programs tied into the annual nationwide theme. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World” and while the specifics of the program are still under development, a series of yoga classes for youth, a VINS presentation on raptor nest building, and Robotics demonstrations and workshops are being discussed as possible programs.
Seasonal events, like the popular Halloween story time and Valentine-card making party round out the programming. After-school movies during the winter months are also offered.
The Children’s room is a vibrant and active community resource that many families rely on for educational and social purposes.