On Saturday, September 24, 2022, Helen Hall Library in League City, Texas, hosted the Grand Opening of its Family Place Library program during the library’s Fine-Free Fiesta—a community celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The event featured a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Family Place Library program; promotion of Helen Hall’s status as a fine-free library; as well as food trucks, coloring pages, paper flower making, and live performances by Ballet Folklorico Herencia Mexicana de Houston and Texas City High School’s Sting Band, Mariachi Raya. Among those in attendance to show their support were the Texas State Library and Archive Commission’s Youth Services Consultant Christina Taylor, City Librarian Teresa Potter, Assistant City Librarians Meredith Layton and Darla Rance, and Children’s Services Librarian Kate Guynn.
“This is a dream come true. Early literacy has been a huge passion of mine, and Family Place is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time… It took everybody to make this happen. I really appreciate it, and I’m thankful for this community that loves and supports the library.”
– Kate Guynn, Children’s Services Librarian
Family Place Libraries™ is a nationwide network of children’s librarians who believe that literacy begins at birth and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. Based on research about the importance of early brain development, Family Place Libraries™ supports the essential role of parents and caregivers 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 service providers, the Family Place model positions libraries as key early childhood and family support organizations within their local communities.
Participation in the Texas Family Place Libraries Project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. Helen Hall Library is a part of the 2022 Cohort and the first library in Galveston County to have this designation.
TSLAC initiated the Family Place Libraries™ Project to help public libraries address early learning with a goal of ensuring that all children enter school ready and able to learn. Applications for 2023 will open soon. If you are interested in applying, please familiarize yourself with the requirements on our Family Place Libraries Project website, and consider subscribing to our Library Developments blog to stay informed of updates.