The Texas State Library and Archives Commission recently awarded a grant to the New Braunfels Public Library to become a “Family Place Library,” a program designed to develop and promote an enhanced family-friendly environment by transforming libraries into community centers for literacy, early childhood development, parent education and engagement, family support and community information.
Family Place Libraries feature several core components including trained staff, special collections, such as books, toys, early literacy kits, music and multimedia materials, for babies, toddlers, parents, caregivers and service providers.
Core components also include parent/child workshops, specially designed spaces, and additional programs for babies and toddlers.
The program also places an emphasis on community outreach, collaboration and partnerships.
New Braunfels library visitors can expect most of these changes this fall and winter.
In the meantime, parents and caregivers can sign up for another Family Place component — Bright by Text, a national program that puts expert tips, games, and child development information directly into the hands of parents and caregivers through text messages.
“Texting is a quick, easy way to get information out to busy families, so we’re very excited to provide this service to our community,” said Jenny Rodriguez, the library’s youth services manager. “Not only will you get tips specific to your child’s age, you will also receive texts about the library’s programming and news from our local partners.”
The texting service includes topics like brain development, games and activities, health and wellness, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), safety and more.
Bright by Text partners with PBS, Zero to Three, Nurse-Family Partnership, The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Sesame Street and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop content for families with children from prenatal to 8 years old.
In addition to the expert content, Bright by Text includes messages about information and resources specific to the New Braunfels community, including local library programming and resources, food pantries and preschool open enrollment periods.
To sign up, parents and caregivers with children under 8 can text the word FAMILYPLACE to 274448.
They will receive two to four text messages per week, and each message includes a link to a landing page with more details, short videos, and links to related resources. Texts are available in English and Spanish. For more information about Family Place or Bright by Text, visit www.nbtexas.org/familyplace or call the library at 830-221-4300.