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The renovation is expected to be completed by the start of summer, in time for the summer reading program.

DESIREE BERGSTROM/MADRAS PIONEER - The Youth Services department of the Jefferson County Library is managed by three individuals, from left to right they are, Star Todd, who oversees the teens, Adriana Arizmendi, the Spanish services member of the team, and Laura Jones who oversees the younger children. 
"One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world," said Malala Yousafzai. It took one child, one parent, one librarian, and one idea to set in motion change at the Jefferson County Library.

"The children's section at the library is a wonderful place that tells a story of the Jefferson County Library's growth. I want to continue the history by updating and helping it continue to grow and develop," said Laura Jones, children services librarian.

The Youth Services Department is reinventing the youth section of the library, Jones said. Staff is currently engaged in The Jefferson County Library Children's Area Improvement Project, which is designed to strengthen the children's area by making it more child-friendly and ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plan is to create a space for exploration, playing, discovering, learning, having fun and fostering community.

"We want all to feel welcome," Jones said.

Structural improvements include replacing furniture, painting walls in bright colors, removing the storytime risers and replacing them with multi-use open space, and adding more educational toys.

"This is a big project, and we hope to have it done before the Summer Reading Program in summer 2020," she said.

The Youth Services Department has made several changes over the last year. Previously, one person ran the department. Now, it's managed by three people: Jones; Star Todd, who oversees teen services and is a traveling storyteller; and Adriana Arizmendi, who is the children Spanish services member of the team and the Spanish traveling storyteller.

The team has begun to develop new programs and updates at the library.

"It is our goal to continue to promote community by hosting family-friendly programs," said Jones. "We see a positive response from the community and good attendance to the programs."

The department will continue to provide current programing such as Baby Storytime on at 10:10 a.m.Tuesdays, Preschool Storytime at 10:25 a.m. Tuesdays, Spanish Storytime at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and All Ages Storytime 10:10 a.m. Thursdays.

New programs for youth services include Family Craft Night, Family Game Night, RPG for Teens, Spanish Evening Storytime, and partnered events with local agencies such as Jefferson County 4-H.

The department is also in the process of updating the library's youth section. The department is continuously evolving, said Jones. It started this year by adding more shelving for materials, then moved on to create a teen corner for study or games. Spine labels on books are color-coordinated for each division of the department, and the most significant change will come before the Summer Reading Program of 2020.

"It will take donations from the community to make this change happen, and we are grateful for all of the donations we've already received," she said. Youth Services is working with local businesses to complete the project.

For more information about activities, check the library's Facebook page or call 541-475-3351, ext. 2.


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