Radically Welcoming

Redesigned Library spaces embrace all users

“I’m a bit of a book nerd,” says Alex Little, Columbine Library patron, Littleton resident and mom to 10-month-old Connor. Alex loves Mark Twain and Michael Connelly and recently couldn’t put down Joe Biden’s Promise Me Dadopens a new window. A New Jersey native, Alex attended Villanova School of Law, before starting a busy career as a nonprofit attorney. “But I seem to have less time to read my books now,” she smiles at her son, who giggles and bounces on her lap.

Connor is curious and crawling and keeps his parents busier every day. And while being Connor’s mom has come naturally to Alex, balancing parenthood and a full-time career hasn’t been without its challenges.

“As a new parent, you feel like you don’t have a single second. You take care of baby in the morning, you go to work, you come home. You take care of baby, you eat, you go to sleep. You’re exhausted,” she says. “Then, there’s a lot of places where, even if it’s just perceived, you feel like you have a baby, and it’s an inconvenience or people are just put off by it.”

Just after Connor was born, Alex discovered the Story Timeopens a new window and 1000 Books Before Kindergartenopens a new window programs at the Library. Now, Columbine is one of her and Connor’s favorite places to visit together.

“I’ve just felt completely welcomed and supported by the Library,” she says. “I’ve never gotten any negative feedback, even when he’s throwing books or… chewing on them. Everyone here seems very focused on the idea that having kids in the Library is great.”

Alex particularly loves the Children’s Area, which is separate from the rest of the building and outfitted with toys and books to make it easy for parents and children to play and discover together.

“It’s really baby friendly,” she says. “There’s a little fake pond that I just plop him in, and I sit on the edge of it, reading books or playing with him.”

Alex also loves the nursing mother’s room. She says, “Its perfect – like an oasis! It made me feel even more welcomed. The message to me was, ‘of course, we have nursing mothers here, and that’s great!’”

Columbine Libraryopens a new window was redesigned in fall 2017 to create an updated space where everyone, including babies and mothers like Connor and Alex, are welcome. The new building includes enhanced spaces for children, teens and adults; a nursing mother’s room; a makerspace; and other new features.

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