BOOKS & BEYOND: Explore the L.E. Phillips Library’s New, Improved Youth Section
the recent expansion allows for more comfortable, innovative play and hang-out areas
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library was a true community hub pre-renovation, already providing lots of programs and services. Now with its expansion and renovations complete, the library is able to do even more, comfortably, in its newly revived space.
With the youth section taking up a significant portion of the first floor, there’s more space for growth in book inventory as well as the play and learning section for children.
“With the play and learn section we have things that are readily available for kiddos to play with their parents or even when their parents are browsing,” Youth Services Librarian Kelly Witt said.
This section provides Magna-Tiles, Legos, and toys for dramatic play, where children can pretend to be a veterinarian or librarian. There are more theatrical play pieces for other opportunities in singing, playing, reading, and writing.
In the Innovation Space on the library’s third floor, they’re also providing cooking demonstrations so youth can acquire basic cooking skills by learning to cut and chop food, and use various kitchen equipment.
The library also provides reading groups across several age groups starting off as young as a few months old. From 0-24 months, the Baby Storytime group practices lap bounces, nursery rhymes, and reading short books with the intention of learning how to interact with a book. The Toddler Storytime group is for children with lots of energy, to prepare them for how a classroom operates.
For their weekend storytime groups, the Preschool Storytime group occurs on Friday mornings since most 4K students don’t have school then. They learn more foundational skills, read more books and practice more interactive songs. The Family Storytime group on Saturday mornings encourages the whole family to join in.
“The bulk of our programming will now be in-house, so we’re really excited,” Witt explained.
The library provides online storybook options for families to use at home, too, which is something they’ve been offering pre-COVID but has expanded since. This service offers families the opportunity to learn more songs, nursery rhymes, and stories told verbally.
Teenagers can use their own study rooms on the first floor close to the children’s books, allowing for easier movement between the two areas. There’s also a Teen Advisory Board available for teenagers to work closely with the teen-focused librarian about making decisions about books and programs.
“(Teenagers) have an invested stake in what’s happening here at the library,” Witt said. “We’re really lucky to have those teens who are very engaged in choosing things for the library and their peers.”
The new youth-oriented areas at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library give kids an abundance of new space, providing comfort and more opportunities for children and parents alike.
For more information on the youth areas and the rest of the renovated building, visit ecpubliclibrary.info.