Library Meeting Designed to Educate Parents About After-School Programs

Monday, September 2, 2019, 12:00 pm
By: 
Xochitl Kwasnik

East Lansing Public Library Teen Services Specialist Beth Scanlon will host a meeting from 6-7 p.m. this Wednesday, Sept. 4, for parents of students who use the library after school.

The meeting will serve as an open community discussion to form connections between the library staff and the parents of the students who visit the library after school. The library is one of the only after-school programs available to East Lansing students. Its staff works to create a welcoming environment, and this meeting is a way to inform their parents of options for their children.

According to Scanlon it’s really meant to be an open community conversation, a dialogue between parents whose children attend school in this community and the library staff.

“I think it’s really important that they know who I am,” Scanlon said, “and that I’m here and working with their children and also available as a resource for their children … so I become a familiar face and a familiar name to them since that’s like the whole focus of my work here.”

As many as 80 to 120 students attend the library after school; some of them wait to be picked up and others hang out with friends or study. The total number fluctuates during the year depending on clubs and sports. Library programming includes crafting on Mondays and on Tuesdays there is a teen conversational group.

“We’re going to tell them things that are going on in the library that their kids can get involved in and just open that communication,” Scanlon said. “So that if parents have questions about the after-school program at the library, they can ask, and we can tell them and show them the spaces where their children hang out.”

Parents are encouraged to attend this meeting to gain information about the events that happen at the library. According to Scanlon, many parents are unaware of the programs that are available for their children, and the library wants to educate them.

Right now there are not established lines of communication between parents and library staff because the library is a public place, but the library staff is working to change that in order to better unite the community and provide options for the students who attend the library.

“The library is very interested in having ongoing community conversations being a resource and a location for that, but also being involved in those conversations.” Scanlon said.

Xochitl Kwasnik is a graduate of East Lansing Info's 2019 Summer Youth Journalism Program which was generously sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.

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