The new Family Room in Jackson Library is a space where caregivers can bring their children to play and learn while they study. The room is a campus resource that enhances adult students’ ability to excel in their academic programs while caring for children and dependents. At this time, there is no age restriction for children or dependents and the space is intended for use by UNC Greensboro faculty, staff and students.
“My hope is that after the Spring 2020 semester we’ll be able to make the Family Room open to the community at large,” said Associate Professor and First-Year Instruction and Social Sciences Librarian Rachel Olsen. “UNCG is a public institution and Jackson is a public library, so making this space available to the community is very important to us.”
Spaces like the Family Room are available in other libraries across the UNC System. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has two family rooms in Atkins Library that were created after receiving grant funding and collaborating with the ANSWER Scholarship. One room is designed for patrons with younger children and features toys and books, while the other space is for older children and focuses more on technology.
“We visited the UNC Charlotte campus in 2019, and the librarians there were kind enough to show us their spaces and give us helpful tips on making our space a reality at UNCG,” said Olsen. “Family rooms aren’t very common in academic libraries, so we’re providing an innovative space for students who need it.
Contributing to student success is important to University Libraries as it strives to create an environment where students have the resources they need to succeed. Providing this extra support will create a sense of belonging at UNCG for students and allow them to thrive in their academic environment.
“It’s truly a collaborative effort. I’m really proud of how many people from University Libraries came together to make the project happen,” said Olsen.
University Libraries hosted an internal focus group among its employees to gain a better understanding of the amenities they were interested in seeing in the space, and generous donations of toys and books have been given to Jackson Library from employees, as well as other divisions and departments at UNCG. The committee that worked to bring this idea forward is made up of faculty and staff from several departments, including Deborah Caldwell, Mike Crumpton, Barbara Halbert, Sam Harlow, Nakia Hoskins, Nick McCollister, Robin Paschal and Melody Rood.
The Family Room boasts amenities that are kid-friendly and carefully chosen by University Libraries’ faculty and staff. While only in its beginning stages, the Family Room already has kid-sized furniture, books, toys and whiteboard-painted walls. Every detail has been planned out, even the special paint used by UNCG’s Facilities Operations that allows kids to draw on the walls.
The Family Room is located on the third floor of the Tower in Room 363. Reservations can be made online by visiting uncg.libguides.com/caregiver, where patrons can access the reservation form, room policies and other helpful links. For more information or questions, contact Rachel Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you interested in donating items to the Family Room? Check out our Amazon Wish List for more information.