Picture Tour

The Fairfield Children’s Library is The Destination for families in Fairfield!

This is THE place for discovery, exploration, and FUN! Here you will find materials on every subject – many ways to help children develop pre-reading skills, language competency, and a lifetime love of reading and learning. The Children’s Library offers activities, games, programs, puzzles, puppets, and toys to enhance learning experiences. All of these activities and features have been designed to stimulate children’s minds and to foster language development, motor skills, problem solving, sharing and social skills, creativity and dramatic play, and cognitive skills.

To make children feel comfortable, welcome, and secure, we have broken up the area into smaller “neighborhoods”. Each neighborhood has space and furnishings scaled appropriately to a child’s age and size. The design offers excellent sight-lines so adults can easily monitor children in their care. The neighborhoods in theChildren’s Library are based on several familiar historic landmarks in the Town of Fairfield : a Gazebo, a Lighthouse, a Town Green, a Country Store, a Farm-yard, a Book Shop, a Train Station, and a Town Hall.

Come with us on this “Tour” as we help you explore these different neighborhoods with your child.


Gazebo Entrance

  • Walk up the stairs or take the elevator to the second floor Children’s Library. As you and your child glance through the gazebo windows into the Children’s Library, you will see that this is an inviting place to be.
  • Walk through one of the three doorways into the Children’s Library. Toddlers and preschoolers will find that one door is child-sized – only 40 inches high.
  • Point out the colorful fish tank that is on the other side of the windows. See the different sizes and types of fish swimming through the seascape.
Information Lighthouse

information desk

  • Point out the bright light at the top of the Lighthouse. This beacon visually shows non-readers that they can get friendly help at the Information Desk.
  • The Lighthouse is located in the center of the library with good sightlines for children, adults, and staff.
  • Say hello to the librarians. We want your children to feel comfortable asking us questions. We are happy to help you and your child find information and resources in the library.
  • Ask us how your child can get his or her first library card.
Town Green

town green

  • View the park-like setting and point out the overhead canopy of trees that will change colors with the seasons (or lose leaves in the winter).
  • Build vocabulary as you talk with your child about why trees change with the seasons.
  • Even if your child is not yet talking, ask questions and then answer them for your child. (“What color are those trees? I see red and yellow leaves”.) The quality of a child’s vocabulary is an important predictor of school success. Take every opportunity in this exciting environment to introduce your child to new words and new experiences. Describe what you see and ask your child questions.
  • Browse for just the right book in the Seasonal Book Display. Sit on the benches under the trees and share a story together.
Country Store

country storecountry store

  • The Country Store is a dedicated area for children in the 3 to 6 year-old age range. All picture books are housed in this area.
  • Select a new or favorite picture book- so popular with this age group. If your child is too young to read, ask him or her to “pretend read” a favorite story.
  • Engage your child in a conversation while reading by asking open-ended questions about the illustrations in the books. Ask what the characters in the story may be feeling or thinking. Ask other story-related questions, such as “What do you think will happen next in this story?” Ask your child to turn the pages while you point to the words you are reading.
  • Whisper through the “Talk Tube,” allowing your child to explore sounds and communication. “Talk” to someone in another part of the Children’s Library.
  • Promote cognitive growth by using the Velcro wall, or measure your child’s growth using the Giant Ruler. Help your child make observations, learn about cause and effect, and make predictions.
  • Encourage active learning using the store’s “dress-up area” where a child may try on aprons and community-worker costumes and participate in make-believe and pretend play.
  • Try out the manipulative toys and puzzles for mastering hand-eye coordination and problem-solving – so important for reading readiness. Use the blocks, games, and props to develop basic thinking skills like matching, ordering, patterning, and counting.
Little Farm

little farmlittle farm

  • Enter the Birth to Three “Little Farm” through a small gate which will contain active crawlers from becoming separated from caretakers. This enclosed Farmyard area gives very young children a sense of safety, security, and allows them to keep a caretaker in view, thus minimizing separation anxiety.
  • The Little Farm is home to our cardboard books and cloth books. These are displayed in bins just a few inches off the floor within easy reach of the youngest child.
  • Start early to nurture your child’s curiosity about books and reading. Use cardboard books to introduce babies to stories and reading. Point to the pictures and talk with excitement about what you find on each page.
  • Introduce your child to the LearningScapes – areas that have multi-textured surfaces, peepholes, mirrors, and interactive walls. The colors, textures, and shapes integrated into the LearningScapes provide endless opportunities for toddlers to learn about their world.
  • Sensory exploration in the LearningScapes is a precursor to the development of reading and language skills for young children. These spaces invite entry, exploration, and independence – an ideal place for your baby to develop sensory and motor skills.
Book Shop – Early Reading Area

book shop

  • The Book Shop contains books for children just learning to read. Both fiction and non-fiction titles are displayed in the inviting fashion of a book shop.
  • Early reading books use controlled vocabulary, large print, and pictures to help beginning readers decode the story.
  • All books are color-coded (like a stoplight) from the easiest –red (few words, large print, and large pictures), to yellow that are somewhat more difficult (print size and spacing are still exaggerated with more words per page), to green (smaller print, fewer pictures, and more advanced vocabulary) – green means “go” on to the next level.
Puppet Mansion

puppet mansion

Encourage creativity and language development in the Puppet Mansion . Children ages 3 to 10 will want to use the puppet window and puppets contained in the “old” trunk for dramatic play. Make-believe and pretend conversations, role playing, and other creative expression help children learn grammar and vocabulary and understand abstractions (such as a bunny puppet symbolizing the actual animal).

  • Dramatic play encourages a child to become a storyteller as he or she uses puppets and props to narrate stories and describe everyday activities.
  • The costumes in the “attic” section of the Mansion encourage children to become make-believe characters and invent dialogue and conversation – skills necessary for learning to read.
  • Get down on your hands and knees to explore the child-sized nooks under the Mansion attic – a perfect place to enjoy a picture book.
Kiwanis Parent-Teacher Living Room

parent teacher area

  • In this living room atmosphere, teachers, parents, and grandparents can find materials and resources on childcare, teaching, and raising children from infancy through the teen years. Books, media, and magazines on parenting and education are all housed here.
  • Research at the Internet desk or browse the shelves for subject matter on child development or how to create an effective learning environment for your child.
  • A beautiful fireplace enhances the cozy seating area.
Town Hall – Multimedia and Young Child Computer Area

town hall

Enjoy educational activities on the games computers. Interactive games teach young children cognitive skills and problem solving, while enhancing small-motor ability. These games can develop reading, math, and thinking skills.

  • Two seats at each computer encourage caregiver-child interaction and learning.
  • Take home educational videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and music CDs, to continue the leaning and enjoyment at home.
Railroad Roundhouse &Train Station Activity Room

roundhouse

  • Stop by the Activity Room to look for the next Drop-In program or register your child for a regularly scheduled program.
  • Programs using music and movement via audio and video materials enhance a child’s vocabulary, listening skills, and appreciation for literature.
  • Our programs use special storytime picture books, rhythm sticks, musical instruments, puzzles, blocks, dolls, and wheel toys. Participating in book-based library programs helps a child develop social skills, listening and cognitive skills, appreciation for illustrations, letter awareness, and word recognition.
  • The Activity/Program Room is also home to many school-aged children’s programs, such as book discussion groups, craft programs, and author visits.
  • The Activity Room is frequently used for unstructured play where selected toys and activities are set out for certain age groups and their caregivers.
Nautical Buoys – Older Child’s Books and Computers

computer station
Visit the Older Children’s area which houses and organizes all chapter books, fiction, audio books, biographies, and non-fiction materials for the older child – grades 2 or 3 and up. This area contains several large reading and study tables.

  • During the day, the large clerestory windows flood this area with sunshine and make nearby outside trees seem to grow into the room.
  • Don’t miss the five lenticular panels which contain illustrations that change depending on how you look at them.
Ann Neary Study Room

study room

  • This small enclosed room is a dedicated area for individual tutoring, quiet study and/or group work.
  • This room is located near the Information Lighthouse so staff can assist with questions.

We hope you have enjoyed this “tour” of the Fairfield Children’s Library. Please come and visit us in person. Each time you visit to the library, you will help your child reinforce and expand reading and thinking skills. Select just the right books and materials for your child to take home. Frequent visits will help your child become a lifelong learner. Come back again and again!