The Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) is celebrating its first anniversary of Storyville, the unique, interactive early learning and literacy center for preschoolers (ages 0-5 years) to visit with their parents and caregivers located inside the Rosedale Library. A joint project of the Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library and the library that opened in February 2008, the colorful minitown of Storyville was designed as a catalyst for school readiness in a way that would make learning fun. One reporter called it “a literacy wonderland.”
Designed to simulate life in a small town, up and down Storyville Lane children and adults together mimic everyday life in the two-story house, theater, combination store and post office, construction site, Chesapeake Bay waterfront, baby garden and, of course, the library located in the center of town. After exploring the kitchen and its amenities, one mother remarked: “If it weren’t for the fact that I am way too tall for the kitchen, I think I could live here.”
During its first eight months, Storyville attracted over 50,000 visitors from more than 100 different ZIP codes. On February 7, 2009, when Storyville celebrates its first birthday, nearly 80,000 visitors will have benefited from its services. Circulation of library materials for preschool children rose by 21.5 percent since its opening.
When you have a chance to visit Baltimore, plan to tour Storyville and stay to play awhile. (Take a virtual tour.)
Ruth Schaefer – Marketing and Development, Baltimore County Public Library
320 York Road/Towson, MD 21204-5179/410-887-6196/FAX 410-887-6103/www.bcpl.info.