The DeKalb Library Foundation enhances partnerships between the library and other organizations. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life and DeKalb County Public Library (DCPL) combined their strengths to provide resources to help DeKalb County families raise healthy, resilient kids. Through the Raising Resilience program, our librarians curated reading lists of books with resilience themes while Strong4Life’s behavioral and mental health experts provided caregivers with tips and tools to build resilience in kids. Contributions to DeKalb Library Foundation allow DCPL to offer initiatives, programs, and book clubs to build resilience in DeKalb County’s youth. Ellen, a long-time library programmer, created a resilience-themed painting program. First, she leads the participants through a feelings-centered storytime. Then, children are encouraged to paint their reactions or feelings about the theme of the story. “The kids are so receptive, even eager, to talk about their feelings after I’ve read,” says Ellen. “Sharing a story creates a brave space for discussion.”
TAKE THE INTERNET HOME WITH YOU INITIATIVE
The DeKalb Library Foundation funds close to 300 hotspot devices available for check out across DeKalb County Public Library’s 23 library locations. More than 2,700 patrons benefitted from this service over the past year. In a recent survey, more than 75% of responding hotspot users shared they have limited to no internet access in their homes. Patrons reported the hotspot program is invaluable to them. Many use the devices so their children can stay connected to school resources. Others use them to search for and maintain employment, attend virtual healthcare appointments, and stay connected to friends and family. Sarah explained,“I used to have to come to the library every day to read my emails. Now I’m able to check out a hotspot and a chrome book, so I do all this at home.” Tammy shared,“I know people think everyone has the internet but there are some of us who don’t. It is really helpful for us.”
The Flat Shoal Library’s Joyous Club brings a smile to many faces and fills a need in the community. Glenda, the Flat Shoals Library Branch Manager, shared how the program began, “We noticed we had adults with developmental disabilities visiting our library, so I wanted to host a program to include them in our community.” Participants meet monthly to enjoy a variety of activities, such as decorating birdhouses, designing personal canvas bags, and singing karaōke!