EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an agreement with the Imperial County Children and Families First Commission for a Family Place project with a grant amount of $25,000. A Family Place Library is one that is redesigned to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth, and is geared to connect parents with resources and programs offered at the library and other family service agencies.
In June, the Imperial County Free Library received notice of a $25,000 mini-grant awarded for fiscal year 2016-17 from the Imperial County Children and Families First Commission earmarked for a Family Place Libraries Project that the local libraries had applied for in May.
“With the grant money, the Heber and Calipatria library branches will obtain a family place designated area,” said Crystal Duran, Imperial County librarian.
“Part of the Family Place Library area includes low shelving for the children, toys, furniture and family friendly items,” said Duran. “Funds from the grant will be used to train three staff in planning developmentally appropriate library programs for young children, purchase materials and furnishings to transform a space in the library to be family-friendly, and to host a five-part workshop series for parents and children.”
The Calipatria and Heber sites were selected for this project because the grant will build upon existing resources available at both sites. Both sites also have the necessary space to conduct workshops, have demonstrated the need for family-friendly programming and span the county’s jurisdiction in the north and south end as well as operate in communities that are distinct from one another — which will also help determine the feasibility of expanding this project to other county library branches in the future.