Rockville - Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Director of Libraries Parker Hamilton announced the opening of the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center at Noyes on Saturday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m. at the Noyes Children's Library, 10237 Carroll Place, Kensington, MD.
The Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center is an initiative launched by the County in August 2016 and named for the former Co-President of the Noyes Children's Library Foundation, who lost her battle with ALS in July 2016. The Center will enable Children's Librarians, library science students, teachers, daycare providers, parents and children's writers and illustrators to collaborate, learn and export best practices in the field of early literacy training, in order to foster a love of reading in the young children who visit Noyes as well as those far beyond its stacks.
Leggett and Hamilton created the Center to expand the early literacy mission that Noyes has fulfilled since it was dedicated to children in 1972, while also honoring Jablonski's dedicated service to early literacy and to Noyes Children's Library. The Center will establish Noyes as a flagship library for early literacy. The space required for the Center is part of the planned Make MORE Noyes Renovation Campaign, a major capital project being jointly funded by the Noyes Children's Library Foundation and Montgomery County. The planned renovation will make the Library universally accessible and expand its space and programs.
For more information please contact Sheila Dinn, NCLF Co-President, at 301-785-5041.
The L.A. Times included Noyes Children's Library in its story about noted photographer Carol M. Highsmith's pictures of "Remarkable Libraries," to be archived at the Library of Congress.
Highsmith is in the midst of a multi-year project, traveling around America to capture how we live. Her collection at the Library of Congress contains more than 25,000 images, all in the public domain. Through her lens, her subjects take on a sparkling beauty, from the extravagantly gorgeous to the quietly vernacular. Here is a look at her photographs of libraries across the country, from the humble to the magnificent.
For the 19 photos of "remarkable libraries", click HERE.
By Carolyn Kellogg
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Director of Libraries Parker Hamilton announced in August that Noyes Children's Library will now house the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center. The Center honors Jablonski's service to Noyes and commitment to early literacy, and will enable MCPL to concentrate its early literacy initiatives in a unique and child-centered environment.
In addition, friends of Jan and Dan Jablonski have made a major donation to the Foundation's Make MORE Noyes Campaign in Jan's memory. "This exciting donation comes at a perfect time, as the Foundation and MCPL work toward a shared vision in the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center," said the Foundation's Sheila Dinn. "The Center needs space to do MORE for early literacy, so this donation is an important step in funding the Make MORE Noyes Renovation."
Jan Jablonski, a longtime advocate for the Noyes Library for Young Children in Kensington, died Monday at age 61 due to complications from ALS, the debilitating neurodegenerative disease with which she was diagnosed in August 2011.
Jablonksi was one of the founding members of the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation, the all-volunteer group that over the past 25 years raised thousands of dollars to keep the historic library—believed to be the oldest in the Washington, D.C., area—open through two rounds of cuts to the budget for Montgomery County’s library system.
She served as the foundation’s co-president up until her death despite having no use of her arms and legs over the last few years. She relied on a ventilator for breathing and often communicated by typing her thoughts out, or having someone sitting close to her at foundation meetings announce what she said to others in the room.
Just last week, Jablonski and her husband, Dan, hosted a meeting of the group’s development committee in their home. The foundation is partnering with the county on a $3.1 million renovation project to make the library, a yellow rectangular-house on Carroll Avenue that dates back to 1893, more accessible and to add space for activities and classes.
“She had an awareness of what children want and what works for kids and the importance of holding on to the fact that Noyes needed to be a library,” said Sheila Dinn, co-president of the foundation who started working with Jablonksi in the early 1990s. “She knew it needed to have a book collection. It needed to have those magical elements that kids look for, but that it also needed to become more accessible.”
Dan Jablonski said Wednesday his wife was originally inspired to advocate for Noyes because it was a welcoming place for Matthew, one of the couple’s two sons, who suffered from epilepsy while growing up and was taking seizure medication that negatively affected his mood and behavior.
“Noyes became a safe haven. What happened is you walk in there and it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what you are. If you’re a child, that’s the beginning, the middle and end of the story,” Dan Jablonski said. “It was important enough that she threw everything she had into it for 30 years.”
The one-room facility dedicated to children’s books is unique in the Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) system, which has 20 other library branches laid out in a more traditional format with multiple rooms, book sections, computers and other resources.
In the early 1990s and again in 2010 during the aftermath of the recession, Noyes was in danger of being closed or having its services significantly altered as MCPL dealt with budget cuts.
Link to Bethesda Beat Story
Historic Library in Kensington Gets New Ramp, Moves Forward on Renovation Plan With County - by Aaron Kraut
The 123-year-old Noyes Library for Young Children is now accessible to visitors with mobility challenges, courtesy of a new ramp built by Montgomery County.
The exterior ramp is the first step in the Make MORE Noyes Campaign, a partnership between the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and Montgomery County that is funding a major renovation of the historic library. A key goal of the renovation is to make the library not just compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, but a model of universal access. The proposed design will triple floor space within the historic building by finishing the existing attic space and completing a partial basement; all floors will be reachable via stairs and a Rapunzel-style elevator tower.
The opening of the ramp is especially poignant for Jan Jablonski, a longtime Noyes advocate and co-president of the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation. Jablonski, who has ALS, had not been able to visit Noyes for about three-and-a-half years. “I didn’t think I would get back into Noyes, but here I am,” said an obviously moved Jablonski as she reacquainted herself with the library. “The craftsmanship of the ramp is extraordinary, and children—all children—are going to love it.”
“What a major effect this addition will have on the lives of so many. I am very grateful to our Department of General Services for their excellent work to increase accessibility to our Noyes Library,” said Parker Hamilton, director of Montgomery County Public Libraries. “The new ramp will provide access for everyone to the unique programs and services offered at the library."
“The ramp is a great first step, but we have a long way to go,” said Sheila Dinn, co-president of the Noyes Foundation with Jablonski. “With the Make MORE Noyes renovation plan, we are setting a pretty high bar in terms of accessibility, to create the most welcoming environment for people with physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. This ranges from two accessible family bathrooms, to choices of lighting and paint color that take sensory issues into account. We are also excited about Noyes having the space and resources to provide more early literacy programs and outreach."
Link to Bethesda Beat Article