Claremont Library creates home for family learning

By definition, a library is a place where books, magazines and other materials are available for people to use or borrow. While the Claremont Library continues to serve the city in a traditional capacity, the scope of its reach extends far beyond the bookshelves and into the community itself.

As a designated Family Place Library, the Claremont Library builds on the knowledge that early learning, parent involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s development. It offers developmentally appropriate programming as well as parent-child workshops featuring local professionals who serve as resources for parents.

“1-2-3 Play with Me” is a free, five-week workshop that meets every Tuesday through April 28 and offers children ages 12 months to three-and-a-half years old and their caregivers an opportunity to play together and discuss different topics regarding their child’s development. With 20 toddlers and their parents attending the first workshop, the program is off to a great start.

“Children need exposure to other children and with stay-at-home moms, sometimes that’s hard,” said Karen Nutt, director of Parents’ Place following the playtime session. “Parents can’t always afford preschool and so having exposure to developmentally-appropriate toys in a quiet, nonthreatening center is a big benefit to these families. You can’t put a price tag on it.”

For the past year, Claremont Library manager Amy Crow and library staff has worked hard to ensure that the services offered at the city’s book hub serve the community well. In addition to its many programs, the library offers members access to the Internet with 11 adult PCs, eight children’s PCs, four early-learning computers and free Wi-Fi.

“There’s a lot of things at this point that can only be done online and for people that don’t have access to the Internet in other places, the library is one place they can come and do their job applications, their resumes, look for jobs or do homework,” explains Ms. Crow. “As long as you have a library card with us, come in and get online.”

The Claremont Library also offers its members the opportunity to check out Kindle Paperwhite eReaders. Each of the 25 Kindles are preloaded with 100 classic titles as well as expert-selected books based on the designated genre of the device.

“The Kindles can be checked out just like a book for 21 days and be returned to any Los Angeles County library,” explains Ms. Crow. “When Claremont customers are looking in our catalog and see something they want to read is on a Kindle, they can put a hold on it.”

For the kids, there are many genres to choose from including A Diary of a Wimpy Kid & Dork Diaries collection, the Magic Treehouse series, Kid’s Favorites, Young Teen Fiction and Teen Fiction.

American History, Historical Fiction, Historical Biographies and World History are available for the history buff. And for those seeking thrills, check out the Cozy Mysteries, Suspense/Thrillers and True Crime Kindles.

Other genres include the Alex Cross Collection, Armchair Traveler, Business, Biography/Memoir, Chinese, Current Events, Fantasy, Game of Thrones & The Lord of the Rings Collection, Romance, Horror, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Mystery, Personal Finance, Popular Nonfiction, Self-Improvement, Spirituality, Spanish I and Spanish II, Stephanie Plum Collection, Urban/Street Lit in addition to many others.

In today’s ever-increasing digital world, library resources are available from anywhere at anytime—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Take an online course, learn a language or get live homework help with an online tutor.

 “You have to make an appointment, but there’s a real person on the other end who works with students K-12,” Ms. Crow says. “They will also look at cover letters and resumes, so it’s something adults can take advantage of as well.”

Thousands of eBooks that can be uploaded and read on a variety of devices including Nook, Android, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch as well as on Windows/PC and Apple computers are also available through the library at OverDrive.

“We do a huge amount of business where people are downloading content on their own devices,” says Ms. Crow. “Everything is entirely free and the great thing with the digital content is you can’t accrue overdue fees. It automatically expires off your device.”

Members can also download magazines from and stream movies, e-audiobooks and music from Hoopla Digital.

“For streaming, you do have to be connected to Wi-Fi or the Internet to access that content, unlike the eBooks where you can actually download it,” she explains.

If you’re debating whether or not you like songs on a new album, just check them out on Hoopla before you commit to a purchase.

“The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack is on there,” Ms. Crow shares. “Regardless of what you think about the book and/or the movie, apparently the soundtrack is really good and available on Hoopla.”

The month of April promises to be an exciting time at the Claremont Library with a variety of upcoming events. On Saturday, April 11, the library will offer DIY Balloon Twisting for ages 11 to 18 from 2 to 3 p.m.  BARK the Robot Dog Puppet Show will entertain all ages from 2 to 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. On Saturday, April 25, the Claremont Library will partner with the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy to host, “What’s That Plant?”

Eric Garten, director of visitor services and community education at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, will be presenting on common plants found in the San Gabriel Mountains with a special emphasis on the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, Ms. Crow said. Also, Claremont Museum of Art’s ARTstART program will also host a “Books in Bloom” event on April 25.

For more information, call (909) 621-4902 or visit

The Claremont Library is located at 208 N. Harvard Ave. General hours are Monday and Tuesday from 1 to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The library will be closed Sunday, April 5.

—Angela Bailey



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