The NEW Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library is Open!

As the weather gets colder, it becomes crucial that I find great indoor play options in Terre Haute for my family. If we don’t get out of the house, this SAHM goes stir crazy. Thankfully, the brand new Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library reopened just in time for winter!

Check out the NEW Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library!

The library has once again asked to sponsor a post and use Haute Happenings to help spread the word. We are thankful that the library believes in our ability to reach families in Terre Haute, and we’re grateful for their support of Haute Happenings. You can thank the library for revitalizing this public space by sharing this post with friends!

Open House. Wednesday, January 27. 3-6 p.m.

Staff will be on hand to conduct tours, light refreshments will be available, and there will be a drawing for a door prize. The community is invited to attend!

The girls and I spent a few hours playing in the new space, and we’re delighted to share the highlights with you. To be sure I don’t miss anything essential, the Public Services Coordinator (Holly Curtsinger) offered to share what she loves about the new space. Holly is truly an expert on how this space can and should be used. Not only did she help design and plan the library remodel, but she’s also a mom to twin toddlers!

Vigo County Public Library

Read on for highlights and more info!

Holly: Families with young children will be glad to hear that there’s now a restroom inside the youth services department. With the old design, the materials for children who had the most urgent toileting needs and the restrooms themselves were on opposite ends of the space. The design makes more sense now.

Both restrooms are for men or women. One has a junior potty, a diaper changer, and jump seat for toddlers.

A number of these features reflect our understanding of the changing face of our families. For example, fathers need equal access to things like diaper changing and toileting equipment.

Inclusion of the room for nursing mothers helps us affirm our commitment to all patrons, including those who have requested a semi-private space to care for their infants.

Additionally, the strategic placement of early literacy materials adjacent to the restrooms is a win for parents, especially those in the midst of potty training (myself included!).

The new Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library

We anticipate our formal accreditation visit for the Family Place Libraries initiative this spring, and we are confident that we are well within the parameters of a fully endorsed facility. (You can read about why it’s great to be a Family Place Library HERE.)

Vigo County Public Library Remodel

We plan to offer more services to school-age children. In the past, we have limited our offerings (particularly with regard to tabletop activities and manipulatives) because so much of our space was shared (and the manipulatives for older kids aren’t appropriate for mouthing toddlers and babies). But now we are able to provide activities like “Little Bits” or “Makey-Makey” for our older kiddos to explore.

Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library

Students were also winners with regard to technology. We grew from 4 Internet stations to 12 (with all new computers).

The enclosed program space is the one feature that every staff member agreed on from the start of the project! This program space allows for flexibility. For example, if there is a snow day, we have the ability to set up activities or show movies without needing to secure a meeting room (which often book a year in advance!).Indoor play space in Terre Haute--Vigo County Public Library

In the spring, there will be three new librarians providing story times as well as three new clerks helping to keep materials in order and provide customer service. Their skills will help us continue to diversify our programming.

Winter 2016: Story time at the Vigo County Public Library

Patrons should also be reminded that the library is also committed to growing its circulating materials collection. They’re not moving away from books and resource service!

The other aspects of the department upgrade relates to safety and security. The service desk is positioned with a clear line of sight of both entrances to the space. Also, the materials for the youngest patrons (the ones most likely to get separated from mom or dad) are adjacent to the desk so that staff can provide another layer of oversight.

Places to play inside in Terre Haute--Vigo County Public LIbrary

Last but not least, my current favorite addition to the space are the jellyfish chairs. We have them in red for the older kids and adults and blue ones in a smaller size.

The remodel is finished! See what's new in the Youth Services Department at the Vigo County Public Library!

These types of seats are being used in therapeutic settings and classrooms, especially for kids who have trouble concentrating and need to fidget a bit. They look cool, and they are actually comfortable!  We had a mother with a fussy baby who bounced for a few minutes and calmed the infant. They are truly multi-purpose.

New indoor play area in Terre Haute at the Vigo County Public Library

Have you been to visit the new space yet? If so, the library would love to hear your feedback! Leave a note in the comment section or on the Haute Happenings facebook page.

New indoor play area in Terre Haute at the Vigo County Public Library