The number of Prince George children 18 years and younger who have a library card grew slightly in 2019 to 9010, from 8877 in 2018. The statistic is one highlighted in the Prince George Public Library’s Youth Services Report which the library has released annually to mark Family Literacy Day (January 27th) for the past four years.
In 2019, programs for children and teens made up 57% of all library programs offered.
The Youth Services team took steps to make programming more accessible for neurodiverse children by adding a “quiet corner” with a sensory tent and a sensory bin at all major library programs. They also began to incorporate visual schedules in regular weekly storytimes. Visual schedules make it easier for children to transition between story time activities. In addition, new programs such as Sensory Storytime were introduced last year.
Teen Librarian, Chris Knapp, was particularly proud of the growth of storytelling he’s seen in the Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons program for 10-18 yrs. The program is one of 175 teen programs offered in 2019. Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game that fosters creativity, encourages youth to interact in unique ways, and promotes reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.
“The program has teens taking out more books, reading more about the lore of the game world, and using their imaginations in wonderful ways,” said Knapp.
The library is celebrating Family Literacy Day on Monday, January 27 with a Raffi Fair. Participants ages birth to nine years old are invited to enjoy stations and activities themed around classic Raffi songs such as Baby Beluga and Bananaphone. The event runs from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Bob Harkins Branch.
Family Literacy Day® is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 and held annually to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.