Shawn Walsh Madison Public Library [email protected]
In the fall of 2017, Madison Public Library received a grant from Western Reserve Junior Service League to purchase an AWE Early Learning Station. This all-in-one Early Literacy Station for children 2-8 years old creates the cornerstone of the revitalization of the library’s children’s area. The library leveraged this donation to receive an additional grant from the Friends of Madison Public Library to allow the library to purchase two Early Literacy Stations. These computers, used frequently each day have become a reason for families to come to the library. While parents browse for books for their children or themselves, children play “games” on the computer. However, these computer games are teaching them math, science, history, reading, writing & computer skills.
In just the two months the library has had the AWE Early Literacy Stations, the library has seen a dramatic increase in usage over the previous 8 year old similar computers that were in the children’s area. Even more important, the average time children are spending on computers has changed from about 10 minutes to close to half an hour. This opportunity to have children become fully engaged in the activities on the computer means they have a greater opportunity to have a meaningful learning experience at the library outside of the traditional library services.
Using the statistics, these stations now provide the library the opportunity to collect information on the areas (math, science, history, reading, & writing) where children are spending most of their time and adding similar topics to the print collection. This unobtrusive way of gathering information is an invaluable resource to our collection development for youth.
The library is extremely grateful to the Western Reserve Junior Service League for their grant program, which has provided such an expansive resource for the patrons of the Madison Public Library.
Shawn D. Walsh
Emerging Services and Technologies Librarian