Children’s libraries are the first places families go to help their children learn to read, and they are the first chapters of our children’s lives — but in Josephine County, they are overcrowded and outdated with limited space and old books.
The 21st-Century Children’s Library Project is re-imagining and reconfiguring the children’s libraries in the Grants Pass and Illinois Valley branches, with an emphasis on a space for birth to three-year-old children. The vision is to modernize these children’s libraries into exploratory, flexible, and multimedia learning spaces for a variety of literacy programs conducive to children of different age groups and their parents. This effort transforms the outdated and worn 1960s-style children’s spaces into 21st-century children’s libraries with modern hands-on tools that inspire fun literacy exploration.
Planning began in January 2015 and with the help of Oregon’s Kitchen Table, hundreds of individual community members engaged with the vision by contributing to an online crowdfund. A total of $40,000 was donated through the First Chapters crowdfund. An additional $150,000 has come from the following generous funders: Avista Foundation, Chaney Family Foundation, City of Cave Junction, Dutch Bros. Love Abounds Foundation, Four Way Community Foundation, Josephine County Board of Trustees Border’s Trust, Josephine County Cultural Coalition, Josephine County Library Foundation Bennett Fund, Kiwanis Club of Grants Pass, Oregon Community Foundation, and Wheeler Toyota.
Renovation began mid-February in Grants Pass and finished in May. Renovation at the Illinois Valley branch began in April and finishes in June. The entire project will be completed in time for the 2016 Summer Reading Program: Ready, Set, Read!
For more information about the 21st-Century Children’s Library Project, call 541-476-0571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.