Beyond the Books — the library’s new leadership program — offers community members a monthly immersive and behind-the-scenes look at the Clearview Library District. Each month we’ll offer a recap of the session. In August, participants explored Children’s programming and Early Literacy at the Clearview Library District.
“It is no secret that the Clearview Library District does a lot for kids,” Director Ann Kling shared with Beyond the Books participants in August. “Why such an emphasis on kids? Windsor, Severance, and West Greeley are great places to raise a family. Families are moving into the area in droves.”
“Our community is rapidly growing, bringing in many new families with children of all ages each year,” echoed Children’s Services Supervisor Heather Montgomery.
Our Children’s team focuses on the youngest members of our community — newborns to age 12 — which are the library’s power users. Of the more than 50,000 program attendees in 2018, three-fourths were children. Almost half of all physical material checkouts and renewals in 2018 were picture books / board books (24 percent) and children’s fiction / non-fiction books (21 percent).
Our first priority is in creating a safe environment for exploration and learning. Just inside the entrance to the library is the Children’s Area. Babies and toddlers can explore the castle and read picture books, while school age children can read to PAWS for Reading therapy dogs under the canopy, play games at the back tables, or use computers to access Minecraft or to do homework.
“This isn't your grandmother's library,” said Beyond the Books participant Cheryl Johnson after the August session. “There is so much more than checking out books. It is an amazing resource for our community.”
Programs at our library focus heavily on children. Nearly 80 percent of our 2018 programming was geared toward ages 0-12 and their parents. Ranging from STEAM-focused, weekly afterschool opportunities and storytimes, to book clubs and special events, we make learning a fun experience driven by community interest.
“We take the time to listen to our young patrons to learn what they're interested in,” said Children’s Services Supervisor Heather Montgomery. “We encourage them to send their requests and ideas to us, and we weave their interests into our programming plans and collections.”
The Children’s team works to find a library resource for every interest, even children who don’t like to read.
“We intentionally offer a wide variety of programs and items with the goal that everyone can find something to do (or checkout!) that appeals to them,” Montgomery said. “I make it my personal goal to find something that will interest them. When I see even a tiny flicker of interest/excitement blossom, it's such a great feeling.”
Need recommendations? Meet with one of our staff members. Through a Readers' Advisory Interview, they’ll help figure out what you do and don't like, and will make suggestions. There’s something for every age and interest at the library!