Little Laundromat Libraries
The Yates County Youth Bureau, in collaboration with Penn Yan Rotary and Boy Scouts, developed a new literacy initiative for Yates County. The program is called “The Little Laundromat Library.” The concept for the program stemmed from an article that the Youth Bureau Director, Alicia Avellaneda, had read about that was taking place in another community. The article described how laundromats are the ideal space to reach an audience that is otherwise being overlooked. By creating this public space where literacy materials are available for children and families, our hope is that they will spend their time in the laundromat interacting with each other and utilizing this time to engage in a literacy activity. An added perk is that all the books are available to take home for free. Studies done on similar programs have shown that children who interacted with these libraries in laundromats spent an average of 47 minutes per visit engaging in literacy based activities!
The Youth Bureau along with their partners, the Penn Yan Rotary who are champions for early literacy, and the Boy Scouts who built the beautiful bookshelves, are very pleased at the success and feedback they have already received. The local laundromats all gave a resounding “Yes!” when asked to participate in the Little Laundromat Library program.
Currently, all Yates County area laundromats participate in The Little Laundromat Library program that is available for the public. These locations include two in Penn Yan, one in Dundee, one in Rushville, and one in Gorham.