NOTE: While new carpeting is being installed at the Oshtemo Branch Library, access to some materials may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience.

Family Place Library

“An institutional commitment to supporting families with young children through programs, collections, trained children’s librarians, and community partnerships.”

What Makes a Family Place Library?

Expanding the traditional role of children’s services, a Family Place Library builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.


A Nationwide Network

Family Place Libraries™ is a network of children’s librarians nationwide who believe that literacy begins at birth, and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. The Family Place Libraries network currently includes more than 300 sites in 23 states and continues to grow.


Core Components

  • Strong collections of materials (books, music, toys) for babies, toddlers, parents and caregivers.
  • The Parent-Child Workshop, which is a 5-week program for toddlers and parents, which emphasizes the importance of play and the importance of parents as a child’s first teachers. Learn more...
  • Coalition-building with community organizations to develop programs and services that meet local needs.
  • Outreach to new and non-traditional library users, especially parents and very young children.
  • Developmentally-appropriate programming for very young children and their parents.
  • Library staff trained in family support, child development, parent education, and best practices.


A Welcoming Environment

Family Place Libraries™ redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth; connect parents with the resources, programs and services offered at the library and other family service agencies; and reach out to non-traditional library users. This creates the network families need to nurture their children’s development during the critical first years of life and helps ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn.

Kalamazoo Public Library: A Family Place Library

Family Place Libraries are committed to developing a family-centered approach to library services. Kalamazoo Public Library was recently selected to join more than 300 libraries in 23 states, which are committed to serving families with children from birth to age 5.

Funding is provided in part by a special Family Place grant through the Institute for Museum and Library ServicesLearn more...