There is simply something of interest for every child in the new Lending Library at the Havelock-Craven County Public Library.
More than 200 items from unusual building blocks to musical instruments, and theme boxes featuring community, careers and cultures of the world are available for parents of children, childcare providers and teachers to check out in the new library program.
"This is a big day for us. It means growth," said Margie Garrison, librarian in Havelock. "This is just a marvelous way to teach children."
The library held a celebration last week to open the Lending Library.
"I think it’s wonderful that through the Bate Foundation that the library was able to make this possible," said Shirley Selepes, a member of the Friends of the Havelock Library group. "Anything to make our children as knowledgeable as we can is a good thing."
The Bate Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to purchase the materials in a collaborative project between Craven Smart Start and the library.
"We’ve tried to spend our money wisely," said Pinkie Moore, Craven Smart Start outreach coordinator. "We’re really pleased to do this."
Jennifer Bolz, an education resource specialist, said the games are geared toward learning.
"We believe that children learn through play," she said. "Any thing they can get their hands on helps make new brain connections. Even when they are playing with blocks, that can be a foundation for math later."
Bolz’s husband, Staff Sgt. Jason Bolz, from Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 at Cherry Point, built the shelves that hold educational toys, books, games, puzzles, parenting materials and curriculum tools. The items are multi-cultural and are designed for all ages of children.
"What is here is different than what you would find at a conventional department store," Garrison said. "I’m really excited about it. It’s really been a dream of mine to have it here since I saw it in New Bern."
The items are checked out for three weeks at a time, just like books.
America Yu-Lee, who has 4-year-old and 14-year-old sons, checked out a half-dozen units on the first day.
"They show shapes. They show colors. They show pictures and they have games," she said. "Bright color is very important for kids, and there are easy words to understand."
For more information, call the library at 447-7509.