“Parent Place”

The children’s area at the Crossroads Branch was intentionally designed to be an inviting environment for both our youngest patrons and their parents. Bright colors make the space especially attractive to kids. There are comfortable seating areas specifically sized to fit our smallest patrons. There is even a special bathroom with proportional fixtures built on a smaller scale! All of these features make the area user-friendly and extra welcoming to families.

Our children’s librarian has worked to develop an exceptional collection of materials available for checkout. One section of the collection is named the “Parent Place”. This area is near the librarian’s office and easily discernible by the yellow stickers which mark each item. The items include books, DVDs and magazines in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Assembled materials all deal with issues that are of great interest to parents and caregivers.

Many of the books deal with social issues that we struggle with in modern society. One great example of what’s available is a book titled, “Fred Stays with Me” by Nancy Coffelt. The topic is divorce and how one little girl struggles to have her own room at both mommy and daddy’s house. Her dog, Fred, helps to provide a sense of stability while moving back and forth.

There are many other reassuring books available to help children deal emotionally with life’s challenges. One title that discusses the death of a family member is “Sarah’s Grandma Goes to Heaven” by Maribeth Boelts. This book includes a brief afterword of talking points to use when explaining the concept of life and death to children.

Children’s medical issues are also addressed in this section. The “Autism Handbook for Parents” by Janice Janzen is a 2010 copyright edition. It includes practical advice on treatments and also tips for preventing problem behaviors. Another area of concern for many parents is how to instill morals and teach a personal value system to a child. “E is for Ethics” by Ian Corlett includes 26 short stories to read-aloud at bedtime. Some topics mentioned are loyalty, politeness, trust and citizenship. Each story is one to two pages and includes questions to discuss with a young child.

The “Parent Place” are also includes a wide assortment of titles about the teenage years. One fun title, “How to Hug a Porcupine” by Julie Ross, speaks directly to parents of the ‘tween crowd. Information about peer pressure and sibling rivalry is presented through the use of real-life illustrations. There is also a complete chapter which focuses on talking with a ‘tween about sex, drugs and alcohol.

One last note of mention, children’s librarian Donna King is always willing to sit down with a patron and answer questions pertaining to any aspect of the department. She can provide answers about how the determination is made as to which books are purchased. And she can also offer reader’s advisory advice on various topics. Our children’s department may be reached by calling the Crossroads Branch at 740-432-7536.