Making Space with Play: Designing and Evaluating Early Childhood Library Playspaces in Philadelphia

NICHOLS, Joel A. and CAPUTO, Christine D. (2017) Making Space with Play: Designing and Evaluating Early Childhood Library Playspaces in Philadelphia. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 243 - Metropolitan Libraries. In: WLIC 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Making Space with Play: Designing and Evaluating Early Childhood Library Playspaces in Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia is building three “Playbrary” spaces, playspaces at three neighborhood libraries in a controlled experiment to determine what kind and scale of play opportunities and space interventions create the best parent/young child literacy interactions. To launch the process, we convened a series of design charrettes with children and parents in the designated communities, and held workshops with neighborhood library staff. Based on this input, the design team, comprised of architects, play experts, playground designers and fabricators, has created a flexible ecosystem of play features and interventions that are being customized and recombined for each of the three libraries, and early language acquisition and play scientists are studying the outcomes.

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