The library is a family place

Michelle Cervantes, our Round Rock Library Director, pens a monthly column for the Round Rock Leader. This is a repost of her most recent feature.

Have you ever heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child?” I believe this to be true, and even more so in this day and age.

Growing up, I lived in the same house with my maternal grandparents. When we moved to our own house, it was in the same neighborhood just a few houses down the street. My grandparents and extended family all lived in the same city. Both parents worked full-time and my grandparents would watch all the grandkids while our parents were at work.

That’s not the case for most families nowadays, but I do see a growing trend of more and more grandparents following their grandkids to Central Texas. With or without your extended family nearby, I hear that parenting — along with the Peace Corps — is the toughest job you will ever love.

Round Rock Public Library Director Michelle Cervantes

In the April 2016 edition of Austin Family Magazine, the Center for Child Protection writes:

“Every parent has times when they reach the end of their patience. Being a parent or caregiver is not easy, so it’s important to also take care of yourself so you can provide consistency for your child. Stress can cause a parent to respond too harshly to negative behaviors or simply ignore the behaviors because they’re too tired and overwhelmed to respond.”

Parents: don’t stress out! The Round Rock Public Library has resources for you. Not only do we have books, DVDs and magazines, but we also provide a place where you can meet and talk to other parents and caregivers going through the same experiences.

Making those connections is crucial to building a strong community. We see this happen after story time when parents, grandparents and caregivers start talking to one another. The library is one of the first places where many parents make new friends after they move to Round Rock.

We are excited to announce that we are becoming a “Family Place Library.” We were among 36 Texas libraries to be awarded a Family Place Libraries grant. This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

Family Place Libraries promotes a national model for transforming public libraries into welcoming, developmentally appropriate early-learning environments for very young children, their parents and caregivers. Based on research about the importance of early brain development, the Family Place Library supports the essential role of parents as first teachers and addresses the physical, social, emotional and cognitive aspects of child development to help build a foundation for learning during the critical first years of life.

By partnering and working with other social, health and educational services providers, the Family Place model positions libraries as key early childhood and family support organizations within the local community.

Soon, a small corner of the library will transform into a hands-on activity area and you will be able to register for parenting classes. A new parenting collection will also be available downstairs in the children’s area.

With the Family Place Libraries designation, we hope to share in the success that other libraries around the country have garnered. We want our library to be a popular community hub for our families and provide them with resources they need to raise amazing kids.

Of course, we’ll still have books available. Two of my favorites: “Olivia” by Ian Falconer and “Redwall” by Brian Jacques.

Read original article here

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