What is a Family Place Library?

A Family Place Library builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in a young child’s growth and development. The overall goal of Family Place Libraries is to develop and institutionalize a family friendly environment by transforming libraries into community centers for literacy, early childhood development, parent education and engagement, family support and community information.

We are very thankful to the Friends of the Howell Carnegie District Library and the Ted and Jane Von Voigtlander Foundation for their generous gift that funded the establishment of Family Place Library at the Howell Carnegie District Library in 2009.

Core Components of a Family Place Library:

Family Place Library Logo

Trained Staff

An administrator and librarian participate in a multi-day Family Place Training Institute class and related online training. Topics covered include all the core components listed below as well as child development, family support, parent education and best practices. Once trained, these professionals bring back this knowledge to share with their entire staff.

Parent Child Workshop

A five-week program for toddlers and their parents or caregivers, this fun, informal, play-based program provides a rich environment of toys, books and art activities. Families have the opportunity to spend time together, make new friends, and talk one-on-one with a different community resource professional each week.  Find out more.

Staff Helping to Find a Book


Special collections consist of books, toys, early literacy kits, music and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, parents, caregivers and service providers.

ParentTV works with leading psychologists, pediatricians, mental health specialists, nutritionists, occupational therapists and parenting educators across the globe. Watch videos on general parenting, play, behavior, child development, mental health, sleep, nutrition, technology and more. Most videos are under 10 minutes in length and can be accessed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Find out more.

Early Literacy Class

Additional Programs For Youth

Expanding on the traditional role of programming for children of all ages (with emphasis on birth to age 3). Family Place Libraries specialize in developing age-appropriate programming that supports the importance of play and healthy parent child relationships in early childhood development and learning. Find out more about our Early Literacy Classes.

Specially Designed Spaces

Family Place Libraries create fun and welcoming environments where children along with their caregivers can play, learn and grow together. These specially designed spaces feature interactive Materials for very young children and parents including board and picture books, age appropriate toys, puzzles, dramatic play items, blocks and drawing stations providing a rich space for little ones to explore.  Check out our Build It Room.


Identifying and reaching out to new and underserved families, via in person, partner, media and social media contacts enables the libraries to engage and build trust with new families.  Below are some of the locations where we provide outreach services.
School LogoHowell Public Schools

Holly and Thomas Gould with the Book Bus

Collaborations And Partnerships

Through partnerships with health, education and Human Service agencies that serve families and young children, librarians connect parents to needed community resources and enhance library services and programs.  More information on our partnership with Howell Public Schools and the Highlander Reading Express.