CALDWELL, Idaho — The Caldwell Public Library is working to promote child literacy outside of the library by partnering with Get The Funk Out laundromat and a national organization to install a literacy center inside the laundromat.
"The past few years, we've tried to do more outreach opportunities with the community, just meeting people where they're at," the Library Director of the Caldwell Public Library, Lacey Forst said. "Thinking about how much time you spend personally doing laundry during the week, even if a fraction of that time could be spent reading or playing--you know some of those literacy rich activities together has the ability--or the opportunity to be really impactful."
This idea isn't unique to Caldwell.
The library partnered with the laundry literacy coalition—a national organization—and the Idaho Commission for Libraries on this project. 13 laundry literacy centers are being installed across the state as part of a national network of laundromat literacy centers.
The efforts don't stop at installing the literary centers, though.
"The librarians could have an opportunity to reach out to those people as well and help guide some of the parents into encouraging early literacy for their young ones," Monique Gabby, the Outreach Librarian at the Caldwell Public Library said.
Outreach like this is becoming more important for the library.
"As we're growing—a very fast-growing community it's hard to keep up with only the one physical building so outreach becomes even more important," Forst said.