Library Spotlight

"Because of Family Place..."


Norfolk Public Library is proud to be the first library system in Virginia to implement the Family Place Libraries™ model.  This national initiative has redefined child and family services. Since implementing Family Place, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of families using the library and the length of their visits. 

Under the Family Place umbrella, Norfolk Public Library has implemented five early literacy programs:

  • 1-2-3 Grow With Me Parent-Child Workshop, supports parents in their role of first teacher and supporter of  their child’s earliest learning  in a fun, interactive environment and introduces parents to health and human service professionals;  
  • Alpha Seeds, a parent program that teaches the six early literacy skills to caring adults of pre-schoolers;
  • Babygarten, a rhyme and movement program for our youngest patrons from birth to 2 and their parents/caregivers;
  • Reading Rockets, an educational video series for parents of children K-3, and;
  • Motheread, Inc. a family literacy program that uses children’s book to aid in literacy development for both adults and children.

In addition to this continuum of programs, the library’s interactive KidsZone, attracts an average of 2,000 parents/caregivers and children per month.  In this welcoming environment within the children’s room you will always find adults and children engaged in self-selected, parent-supported play, conversations, singing and reading. Moreover, it is a place where families come together, develop friendships and build connections with one another, the library and the larger community. Family Place Libraries has provided a holistic and developmentally informed approach to family centered library service and has been instrumental in establishing Norfolk Public Library as a key agent in “Creating a City of Readers.”



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Click here to view Norfolk Public Library's Family Place Brochure

Library: Norfolk Public Library


City, State: Norfolk, Virginia


Family Place Library Since: 2004


Population Served: 241,000 residents


Community Partners: CHKD, Norfolk Community Service Board, Old Dominion Child Development Center, Norfolk Public Schools, WHRO, Norfolk Rotary Club

City Councilwoman Daun Hester enjoys spending time with young patrons at the opening of Norfolk Public Library's KidZone.