Ever wonder what the Friends of the Napa Library (“Friends”) do with the money we earn at our various book sales? Why, we fund programs and services at the Napa Library, of course! Children’s programs and services are of particular importance to us. The following is a snapshot look at only some of the many ways we are enriching the lives of children in our community.
Storytime Materials: During 2016, there were more than 3,000 kids in attendance at Napa Library storytimes. This includes storytimes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, Spanish-speakers, families, and special needs kids. Besides library books, music and rhymes, some of the storytime materials funded by Friends include, magic bags, scarves, felt boards, pre-made flannel stories, puppets, music makers (bells, egg shakers, etc.,) and additional props.
Class Visits & Outreach: Children’s librarians present several class visits for preschools, elementary schools, and for parents either at the library or off-site at a school. Other outreach endeavors have included participation at Connelly Ranch Earth Day, Community Resources for Children’s annual picnic, Farmer’s Market Storytime, Back to School nights, School Fairs, Preschool Family Fun nights, etc. Some of the supplies funded by Friends include stamps, bookmarks, stickers, ribbons, paper, etc.
Study Center: During 2016-2017 school year, nearly 400 kids were served at the Napa Library’s after school Study Center. Some of the supplies funded by the Friends include flash cards, calculators, paper, writing supplies, an abacus, and stacking cubes.
Craft Supplies: Throughout the year, the Napa Library presents many craft programs. There are “Just for Tweens” craft programs year round, at least one craft program in the fall and spring for all ages, and a variety of craft programs for older and younger children during the summer. The Friends fund the supplies for these programs. Examples include, yarn, colored pencils sets, craft sticks, paint, Velcro, child-size scissors, special paper, markers etc.
Children’s Movie Nights: The Friends pay for an annual movie license, which includes up to six movies for children per year as well as the refreshments at the movie showings (popcorn, lemonade and cups). Last year, there were on average more than 60 kids and 40 adults in attendance at each of the movie nights.
Spring Bilingual Performer: Once a year the Napa Library hosts a show for kids in honor of the Day of the Child/Day of the Book, which is a national celebration emphasizing the importance of bicultural literacy. The Friends have paid performers to entertain children in our community. In April of 2017, the musical duo “Cascada de Flores” used ancient musical instruments, their voices, and dance to tell a beautiful tale of ancient Mexico in a bilingual format. More than 100 people attended this program.
Food & Drinks at Programs: Every year the Library hosts a variety of programs for children. The Friends will fund the refreshments for many of these programs. Some past programs have included the “December Bird Count” (hot cider & hot cocoa), the “Baby Birthday Bash” (apple juice and Cheerios), the “Library Adventure” (pretzels and apple juice), and the “Summer Reading Program Party” (pretzels and apple juice). All of these events were well attended and brought various parts of the community together.
Summer Reading Program: In addition to performers, the Friends also fund the printing of marketing materials and in-house supplies for the Summer Reading Program, as well as the incremental and final prizes. In the summer of 2017, this consisted of flyers sent to every child in grades K-12, posters for schools and the Library, reading logs, coloring sheets, bookmarks, and the schedule of events booklets. Incremental prizes included robot erasers, bubbles, lip whistles, and jelly bracelets. The final prizes included a certificate and library bag. (Kids who attended the final party also received a gently used book – see below.)
Gently Used Books: At the 2017 Summer Reading Party, Friends volunteers passed out over 300 gently used books to kid participants as a prize for reaching their reading goal. In addition, thanks to the Friends, gently used books are now available at seven pediatrician waiting rooms throughout Napa. Locations include, OLE Health (three sites), Kaiser, Harvest Pediatrics, Napa Valley Pediatrics and HHS Mental Health Services. In the future, sites such as Napa County’s Health and Human Services, (HHS) and Napa County’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will be included. This program is unique in that it takes services to where children and parents are and crosses all demographic levels.
In addition: Some of what Friends pays for include items needed to make the Children’s Room a fun and engaging place for families to visit. For example, headphones for the Children’s Room computers, storage boxes, mouse pads for Lego workshops, Ellison dies, board book bins, posters, etc.