FAMILY READING ROOM

By David Fisher, editorial intern at University Marketing and Communications

Classes, parenthood and work can be a lot to juggle — but for many University of Utah students, faculty and staff that balancing act is a part of everyday life.

FamilyRoomPlayingBecoming more family friendly was at the heart of an initiative to bring a family reading room to the Marriott Library last year. Today, the family reading room is thriving, and hosts several activities throughout the year designed for U community members with children under the age of 12.

Nestled around the corner of room 3400D at the Marriott Library, the reading room hosts several story time events throughout the school year. The next event will be held on April 6 from 10-10:30 a.m. Young ones can look forward to stories based on a theme, songs which require motion and movement, and projects related to the theme. In April, the theme will be poetry.

“Reading aloud to children at a young age provides an emotional tie with them,” said Raven Cromwell, a doctoral student from the Department of Educational Psychology, who has worked to organize and promote some of the events. “It introduces new vocabulary, knowledge and teaches the elements of a story.”

After each event, a handout is given to the parents with a list of the lyrics to the songs that were sung, additional readings related to the theme, and apps for the children to interact with when at home.

Some other fun features of the room include four desktop computers, child-sized furniture, books, a train set, learning activity toys, a whiteboard and media for children — and an Apple TV.

Worried about not being able to get school work done while watching your children in the family reading room? There are family study rooms (rooms 3400C and 3400D) that can be reserved for family study sessions. Library staff is happy to help with reservations.

Learn more about the family reading room here.