The University of Arkansas has converted a room in Mullins Library into a new family study area to better support campus caregivers.
The room includes tables, chairs and a large monitor separated by a small partition from toys and books for children. The idea, officials said, was to build a space where caregivers can keep an eye on children while doing their own reading, research or work.
“By creating a space that is intentionally designed for children and their caregivers, we hope to show parents and caregivers in our community that they are welcome in the library,” said Laura Cameron, education librarian at the university. “I hope that having this space available makes it easier for student-parents and other caregivers of young children to study, work and utilize University Libraries resources, and that it makes the library a more enjoyable place for children to visit.”
The space can accommodate several families and includes kid-sized furniture, kids’ books and toys and adult-sized tables with seating for eight. The display monitor includes HDMI connection and Wi-Fi. Patrons must bring their own computers.
The libraries do not offer childcare services, and children may not be left unattended in the space, according to the university. Patrons using the space without children could be asked to leave to make room for those with children.
Funding for the project was provided by through a $7,867 grant from Women’s Giving Circle. The money will also be used to develop children’s literacy and learning bags, which will be available later this year.