Originally appeared November 2010, The Voice for America's Libraries, the newsletter of ALTAFF .
Earlier this year, Guilderland (N.Y.) Public Library (http://www.guilpl.org) hosted “Baby Palooza,” its first-ever fair focused on the needs of new and soon-to-be parents.
Held on a Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Baby Palooza drew more than 150 attendees and 34 exhibitors. Events included a signing story-time, Baby Itsy Bitsy Yoga, prenatal yoga, a workshop on protecting your family from household hazards, baby mas¬sage, and lactation consultations. Baby Palooza attendees were given a folder with an exhibit room floor plan, event schedule, library information, book lists, and coupons. A raffle was held, featuring more than 30 donated items, including grocery gift cards, local salon gift certificates, and picture packages.
Among the exhibitors were Au Pair USA/InterExchange, Bellevue Woman's Center, Capital District Child Care, Destination Maternity, Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, Honest Weight Food Co-Op, Price Chopper, Seton Health Childbirth Center, and Sling Babies.
The Guilderland Public Library was a recipient of a Books for Babies Matching grant from ALTAFF and Nordstrom, and chose to distribute the kits at Baby Palooza.
“Parents were really excited about their Books for Babies kits,” said youth services librarian Josalyn Wilder. “We heard many parents say, ‘This is a re¬ally good book!’ A number of parents also commented on how much they en¬joyed our baby massage section. Many participants of the fair mentioned that it was a great opportunity to have so many infant-focused resources together at one time.”
The relationships the library formed with local nonprofits and small businesses invited the possibility of collaborating on providing future fam¬ily programs to the community, added Wilder. For more information about Guilderland Public Library, visit www.guilpl.org.
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