Public Libraries: A Great Resource for New Parents

Public libraries can be a great resource for new and expecting parents. In addition to books, they offer movies and other community resources at free or very low cost to you. So, what type of parenting resources are typically available? And what is library etiquette when it comes to small babies, infants and toddlers?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Public Libraries: A Great Resource for New Parents


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]
It’s easy to forget what great resource libraries can be, from the obvious benefits to having access to broad range of parenting books for no cost to you. Libraries offer many additional resources that can make them life savers for new parents. Today we are talking about how libraries can be a great resource for new families. This is Bill Sannwald, Manager of the Sanford Children’s Library within the San Diego Central Library and this is Parent Savers’ episode 80.

[Theme Music/Intro]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome everybody to another episode of Parent Savers’. We are broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on-the-go support group for parents with newborns, infants and toddlers. I am your host Johner Riehl and thanks again to all our loyal listeners for sticking with us, and for listening to us each and every week and thanks to everyone who joined the Parent Savers’ Club. As you guys know you get access to bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. And we recently unlocked all the archives to all of our episodes so if you ever want to dig back and go listen to any of the shows we’ve done in the past year and a half, make sure to check those out and if you like them definitely send them on to your friends.
You can subscribe to our monthly Parent Savers’ newsletter for a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Parent Savers’ App which is available in the Android and iTunes marketplace. So, lets begin. Before we begin our conversation on libraries lets go around the room and introduce ourselves so we know who we’re listening to. We’ve got a full house with some panelists as well as Bill. As you guys know, I am Johner, I have 3 boys, a 6 year-old, a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old and we definitely make use of the library system. I’d say thanks to my wife more than me. Maybe there’s something you can talk about too, is the marketing of who goes to Erin. Erin why don’t you reintroduce yourself to everybody?

ERIN ESTEVES: Well, hi my name is Erin Esteves a.k.a. OG Mama Cita and I have one boy whose name is Cash and he’ll be about 2 very shortly and I am an excited fan of the library system. I love libraries!

BENSON BARNETT: My name is Benson Barnett and I’m a furniture maker and I guess the technical term is primary caregiver for a 9 year-old whose third parent is probably Bill here at the library. We didn’t realize it but my son and I’ve been there every week since he was born. So I have nothing but enthusiastic thanks to say about the experience.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: My name’s Heather I’m 27 and I work in online education. I have one son Lukas who is almost 4 months-old.

ERIN ESTEVES: Oohh! Little boy!

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: A little one but we’ve still enjoy the library within a short time.

BILL SANNWALD: And I’m Bill Sannwald and I am a librarian. Tomorrow I’ll actually have 20 years with San Diego Public Library. I started when I was 17. I have 2 children, one is a son named Kauss, he is 6 years-old, and then I have a daughter named Eyoshi who is 3.


BILL SANNWALD: And of course I’ve used the library since I’m there every day, 40 plus hours a week.

JOHNER RIEHL: For the past 20 years so…


[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Before we get started today lets talk about a news headline. We do this from time to time about an article that’s in the news that we think is kind of funny or noteworthy and for this one, the baseball player had just started and the Oakland A’s are teams in the juvenile leagues. And what happens is when these teams clinch, they have these big parties in the locker room or they spray champagne and alcohol on the whole group cause its big deal after the season. So, after it was televised and they were on TV, this website dead spin took a screen cab because they found in the background one of the players and his wife was feeding a beer to their baby who is really young. And I’ve got a picture of it here. And so the A’s postgame celebration featured a beer drinking baby. And so, for a second year in a row, the Oakland A’s have shocked everyone by capturing the AOS title. The team celebrated after clinching the division, and everybody had a good time, including this young 5 or 6 month-old baby in the background. There’s a picture of the mom, in the background you can see giving her a beer. And so there’s kind of some snarky feedback from websites, you know before you freak out and lose your minds know that the baby wasn’t driving home. And, you know, us and people are assuming that the mom gave the baby a small sip of celebratory beer, but I’m not even sure that that’s what happened here. I haven’t seen the video, but, you know certainly I’ve drank beer before around my kids and keep the bottles there kind of like it. There are times I’ve made sure though they are empty and no sterling bottling cause that’s what the grownups do.

ERIN ESTEVES: Right, and that’s what I was saying that there’s the assumption that there is actual liquid in the bottle.

JOHNER RIEHL: But lets say there is, would you guys think about giving even a sip of the beer to like, a 5 month or 6 month-old baby.

BILL SANNWALD: I wouldn’t do it.

JOHNER RIEHL: I would. It…it surprises me.

BILL SANNWALD: I know there’s…there was an era I remember, like when I was a little kid taking a sip of my dad’s beer and something, but not when I was 5 or 6 month-old. I know there are times when kid’s teething and everything, but something like this I wouldn’t. I mean, I would be a little upset if I was in the same room where this was happening.

JOHNER RIEHL: My assumption goes to that it’s just the baby, like, mouthing the bottle.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Or, they thought of it as a funny picture, and you see people all the time and go ‘haha’, like [seeing the background]. Maybe its like he does not actually drink anything, I don’t know…

JOHNER RIEHL: But there’s a crowd that says, you know, what’s the big deal in it, its just a dad, a kid… They would say that like moms, you know like…We’ve talked to a pediatrician friend and she like says its probably okay if pregnant women has like a glass of wine and its not that big of a deal. You just don’t want to overdo it. I still am not going to knock you out and my kids with a celebratory beer no matter how excited you get.

BILL SANNWALD: Its fairly nutritious stuff.

ERIN ESTEVES: All that hopiness…

[Theme Music]
JOHNER RIEHL: Today’s topic on Parent Savers’ is public libraries and how they can be a great resource for a new parent. So, thanks for joining us Bill.

BILL SANNWALD: No problem, thanks for having me.

JOHNER RIEHL: So let’s start off by talking about public libraries. How many public libraries are there in the country?

BILL SANNWALD: Well according to the Public Library Association, there are nearly a 120,000 public libraries throughout the United States.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s a ton!

BILL SANNWALD: Yes! So, no matter where you go there’s a place you can go for free and that will welcome you.

JOHNER RIEHL: And, we’re in here in San Diego and there’s how many here in San Diego?

BILL SANNWALD: Within just the city library, we have some 36 libraries, the county has over 30. So, I would say there are atleast 75 public libraries.

JOHNER RIEHL: Great. And that means pretty much any part of town you go to and really any part of the country there is going to be a public library. And I think that, you know, maybe parents…

BENSON BARETTE: Depending on budget cuts of course.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s right! I mean like, I guess that’s one of the things that you know I found with our library is you know, the hours that its open.

BILL SANNWALD: Well the good news is things are going to be on the upswing. So, we’re adding more hours, we didn’t have Saturday hours for a while, we have those now. We are looking to hopefully expand the slot of our branches and open up on Sunday’s, we were not open on Sundays before. So things are going back towards the direction of having more hours.

JOHNER RIEHL: And so, one of the things we want to talk about is, you know, how can new parents really benefit from the library system.

BILL SANNWALD: Well, one of the biggest things when it comes to, you know with your kids, is in using libraries, is just exposure to that whole environment is very important. Exposure to an environment where parents are reading, where you round those books, you plan activities. So early literacy is a big focus we have in the libraries, especially at our Central Library and in our branches as well.

So, I think the biggest thing is, number one, get a library card. Make sure your library visits are a normal thing, make it a weekly or biweekly thing and just look and see what the library has. If we don’t offer something that you want, let us know. The more we get…you get to know your library stuff, the better we can help you guys out.

JOHNER RIEHL: You guys really want to help people come in there.

BILL SANNWALD: Yes, and that’s the big thing right now, we are so busy with the new Central Library opening, is I love talking to people and finding out what do you want cause we are in the midst of shaping up our programs. So, Heather and I were talking for instance, we were talking about the types of programs she would like since she has a very young baby. And we have some things, we have a baby signs program happening a couple of times a month. We’re looking to get a baby yoga. So a lot of things happening that will be really in line with new parents.

JOHNER RIEHL: So yes, so there are activities but I mean to focus on, but we will get back to it in a second. For the materials we can even start before the baby is born.

BILL SANNWALD: Right, right. Just reading to them, talking to them, singing, those are all important things.

JOHNER RIEHL: And resource books too.

BILL SANNWALD: Are resources for parents.

ERIN ESTEVES: For myself, I live a block away from the Central Library, its past location. So I was very spoiled in that sense. It’s now six blocks away, “Oh My God”. But before I was pregnant I was going like every other day, and I was coming home with stacks and stacks and stacks of books.

JOHNER RIEHL: You can go to the baby store and those books are…

ERIN ESTEVES: Hundreds of dollars!

JOHNER RIEHL: Hundreds of dollars.

ERIN ESTEVES: Hundreds of dollars, yeah.

BILL SANNWALD: I remember when my wife was pregnant the prospect scared us and I would everyday go grab another book instead. You could see that like this is how our child looks when they are 12 weeks old and books, there are like books for dads like hey! You know, you are going to be a father. Here’s how to handle this new responsibility you have.

JOHNER RIEHL: Most libraries have those books.

BILL SANNWALD: Oh, every, every library. That’s a big subject and I believe there are 618 around there in all and it makes you feel better, and yeah it’s a dewy number. [Yes, nice]

JOHNER RIEHL: And, and in addition to that then you said there is a big emphasis on stuff related to kids.

BILL SANNWALD: Right! So we have a lot of programs with a lot of materials too, so most libraries try to have of course board books which are big thing for kids. Just getting them used to like handling books, realizing you turn the page if something happens. When they are really little they are going to be just chewing on those books which actually is a part of the whole early literacy development. And then as they get older they want to see.

JOHNER RIEHL Did you just say the chewing on the books?

BILL SANNWALD: Well that’s because they are getting used to you know, handling books every now and then. And then they, they, yeah chew it up. And then they…they start wanting to look at like pictures of other babies, then they want to look at pictures of kids doing stuff, then it all kind of leads into realizing that hey! There’s some purpose to these things other than putting it in my mouth.

ERIN ESTEVES: So that brings up a question that always concerns me as a mom because I would get books and I would take them home immediately and do a little like cleaning of them with the wipes. How clean are the books in the library?

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s a big buster question.

BILL SANNWALD: Well, we do generally have staff and volunteers as the books come back and we look at them. We have volunteers that come in that actually clean books for us. A lot of groups from schools and so forth with lot of carts of books, if I see a kid with a book in their mouth, that’s I keep an eye on it and them immediately grab it and say its going into the cleaning pile. But you know you are touching things that the public has touched so its not a bad idea to have something on hand. But one thing I’ve also learned from having my kids is that in the beginning being really paranoid about germs is you know having a little exposure to stuff that is dirty is not going to…

ERIN ESTEVES: It won’t kill them, it will make them strong.

BILL SANNWALD: Exactly, it kind of does. With my son I was worried about everything, with my daughter I am like, yeah, whatever she does she will survive.

BENSON BARETTE: My favorite is um, there was a book, I think I found it at the local library. I was somewhat squeamish about actually using the library’s copy that my son loved at about this age, you know, when they are like 6 months they are like finally starting to eat some things that aren’t milk. There was this book put up by Cheerios…put up by General Mills. Its like this Cheerios picture book, so each page is sort of you know all lamb, farmer, whatever something, and there’s little spaces where you can put a Cheerio. We put 5 Cheerios on the picture and then you get to eat, and then you turn the page. It struck me as not the best book for the library to have, but they did have it.

BILL SANNWALD: I’ve seen that book.

JOHN RIEHL: Is there any process where the books go through?

BILL SANNWALD: Before we purchase them?


BILL SANNWALD: If it is something we’re purchasing we generally look at professional reviews. If it is something that’s donated it doesn’t cost us anything, we will look at it and see if it is something that we would enjoy, is it appropriate for our collection, so alot of times those are books that get donated and we say, okay we will go ahead add it, but I don’t know if I’ve seen any big publisher’s weekly reviews for the Cheerios book.

JOHNER RIEHL: Heather, what kind of stuff do you do at the library when you go?

HEATHER: We’ve gone a couple of times. We started pretty young, gosh! He might have been only 6 to 7 weeks old. We started going at the Ocean Beach branch. They have a mommy and me yoga class. We started going to that because I very quickly got a cabin fever staying in the house with my little one. So we, we went to that, we’ve been going weekly and it’s a great chance to get out and we live in Maysus so its not around the corner, but it’s a chance to get out and see a different part of the county and you know get to the beach. And the teacher’s awesome. She does one class for infants, I think that its upto a year, and then the next class immediately following is for toddlers and sometimes we end up staying for both.

JOHNER RIEHL: It’s free to you right?

HEATHER: Completely free, and it’s a half hour of yoga every week that I don’t pay for which my husband’s happy about. And then, we’ve also gone to (unclear) branch, they do like a sing and story time. We’ve gone to that, it’s on Wednesdays I think, that’s completely free again and even I mean doing it there with a group of people is awesome but even afterwards I’ve continued like some of the songs where there is like movements and stuff, we still do those like every night because it makes him smile, he knows the song, and you can tell that he kind of remembers and kind of laugh about it. But yeah, it’s great. I’ve met other parents, other moms, their babies, and made friends through it.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah that’s right! How is that stuff free Bill?

BILL SANNWALD: Well, every library has funding for programs and so forth. A lot of libraries they get their funds through like our friends at library groups help us a lot so we have book sales and other fundraisers. We have other groups that help raise money for the library as well like San Diego Public Library Foundation, which did a lot of fundraising for the new Central Library, and sometimes we have people that come in and offer to do some stuff free for us because they just want to do cool things for the community. So but I mean in the case of something like the baby yoga it’s usually paid for through the branch programming funds.

JOHNER RIEHL: They will pay them, the instructor that comes in.

BILL SANNWALD: Right! And the city matches funds that are donated to us all, so that our friends in the library groups can put money into our accounts. They will, the city will match I think atleast 50% if not all of it.

JOHNER RIEHL: Its great way to I guess to get people into the library.

BILL SANNWALD: And then personally I’ve seen in libraries, the big thing is it’s not just books, not just programs, it’s just a forum for information and ideas. So no matter how we offer those information, whether its in a class like baby yoga or whether it is in a parenting book I think it’s – those are all containers of ways of trying to help people.

JOHNER RIEHL: I think it also in general is a sense of community and it’s kind of like you are saying, where you can connect with other parents. That you know, the library is the place that everybody’s welcome and everybody can go to it, and if you go to somebody’s classes you can run into people like you who are going through similar things.

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah, there’s a lot of people who have made friends I’ve seen going to programs and have made a lot of friends, I’ve seen patrons, volunteers, you know cause they start talking about their kids, it’s a great way to connect with people.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, so what about like DVD’s and stuff as well?

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah we offer DVD’s for check out, as long as you bring it back on time there’s no charge. That’s the dangerous thing. If people will check out a whole bunch of stuff so then they will be late and like, oh no, I owe money! But, you know if you’re careful and uh….

JOHNER RIEHL: You guys don’t root for that, right?


JOHNER RIEHL: I mean sometimes like there are circumstances..

BILL SANNWALD: We don’t get to keep the money from that actually.

HEATHER: No, we don’t. It goes to the city, right.

JOHNER RIEHL: So it’s not like a secret money making ploy.

BILL SANNWALD: No, it’s not, in fact most librarians aren’t happy when we tell people ‘hey you have a fine’. It’s not fun when people are arguing the fines because we don’t have the lot of freedom to initially waive those fines. And so, it’s nice to see it seems that a lot of parents who come in are the ones who are really understanding, a lot of them, most are really sorry, like ‘oh my gosh! We kept these books a day late’. Its like, well, you owe a nickel. You know, it’s okay, you know. So its like most people are really understanding, it’s a small percentage who get really upset.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: And on the note of DVD’s I would say, I went and toured the Central Library just this past week, wasn’t a tour, I gave myself a tour. But I was surprised by how many DVD’s they had that were of new movies in like last year and I think that maybe there’s a misconception, maybe its an error on my part, but I kind of figured everything was going to be you know 10 years old, outdated on a VHS.

ERIN ESTEVES: That’s a really good point.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: But there is a lot that has come out recently that I would check out and watch on a date night at home.

BILL SANNWALD: And that kind of ties into the whole thing about the books being dirty and so forth too. We are constantly ordering new materials, we have, every branch has their budget for their materials but we have a collection development team that does that as their main focus. So we look at, you know, we have some software that determines like what we should purchase, what are the needs of the branches. But we look at tool, okay these are the old materials, we need to get rid of these and get replacement because these are dirty or whatever.

JOHNER RIEHL: And like, is there some sort of clearing house that libraries get good deals on the stuff?

BILL SANNWALD: We do have some main vendors we work with who do provide some discount. They also save money by processing material for us and all as a part of the contract.

JOHNER RIEHL: Let me ask you guys a question as parents that go to the library, because my wife and I kind of have a disagreement about this. So, she kind of doesn’t have any limits as to how many books the kid should get, so sometimes she would go to the checkout with like, 18 books for like our 3 kids, one of whom was like 1 year-old who didn’t really need a book, because he just wants to gnaw on them. What do you guys do when you guys go to the library? Do you guys set limit? How do you guys decide what the kids can get?

BENSON BARETTE: I have a giant Ikea bag.

ERIN ESTEVES: There’s your answer.

BENSON BARETTE: I expect to load it up, its not most for the kids, and I am kind of addicted to this giant art coffee table books, you know. And I just like, pull them off the shelf, you know.

JOHNER RIEHL: So you like fill up the bag.

BENSON BARETTE: I fill up the bag

ERIN ESTEVES: That is my approach!
JOHN RIEHL: It’s like apple picking.

BENSON BARETTE: Let the kid just, whatever, I mean there’s a limit to how many DVD’s you can get, but I guess there’s a limit. If you get enough expensive books you hit a price limit too. But its hard to hit it, you got to really like pile them on, you know.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I didn’t know that one.

JOHN RIEHL: My thinking is that if my kids are just kind of leave these books sitting in the room for a week or two, I mean there’s more books than they can even get to or think about you know telling them maybe we should leave them at the library so that other people can have access to them. I mean do you guys have any thoughts or?

ERIN ESTEVES: I can see that.

BILL SANNWALD: Well, I will tell you a quick story about this one, a parent I got to know. Once we were on a Mission by the Library, she had a child who liked to pull off a lot of books but she didn’t want to take too many books home so we had this kind of a agreement that the child could hand me the books and I would act like I was…because that was the big thing, he just wanted to keep handing me the books. And then, and then she had 2 piles, she had one’s that they were actually taking home which was the small pile, and then the one they weren’t and he just wanted to hand me those. So maybe we had come up with some trick…

JOHNER RIEHL: So you would take them and then give them to her so she could put them in the right pile. She went through the pile. He wouldn’t know because there were so many books.

HEATHER: That’s smart.

JOHNER RIEHL: Do you guys go to the library?

HEATHER: We haven’t had a limit. I have a 4 month-old, so you know he’s not really all that interested. But in general, I mean I am remembering going to the library when I was a kid and we would like talk about what are you really going to read. It kind of depends how often you are going. If you are going, like you said, you know a couple of times a week, what are you going to read by the time we come back? I mean if we’re not going to come back for 3 weeks, will 2 books do? Okay, get a few more. But if we’re going to be back in a couple of days, you don’t need that many books.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right, lets take a quick break. When we come back we will talk a little more about how you’re reaching new parents that maybe haven’t thought about the library, the odds get them to come in and some other stuff. Alright, we’ll be right back!

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody to Parent Savers. Today we are talking about public libraries and how they can be a great resource for new parents. So what are some ways that you guys reach out to new parents and try to market to new parents, to let them know that the library is a good place where they can be welcomed and you guys can help them?

BILL SANNWALD: Well beyond the library doing things like embracing social media and residues, I think the best way to reach new parents is to reach out with organizations and start partnerships. So we might you know find a group in need of, they might say ‘hey, we need a place we can meet. We don’t have a place to meet, but we have this cool program going on’ and we’d say okay, maybe we can provide a meeting place and you can open it up to the public. So just finding ways to bring people in, really by reaching out to groups to seeing what the community need is. Every library should continually do needs assessment of their communities and their patrons, and also realize too that the people in your neighborhood aren’t necessarily the people that come into your library. So you know for instance, if kids are in the schools during the day, that’s our population during the day in terms of who are serving as kids but they might live there the night but other group of kids might live there in the evening.

So keeping those type of things in mind, and just finding ways to get out there, and really talk to people, and make ourselves known and get the word out on all the cool stuff we have to offer. So like one thing we did this last summer and we’ve being doing for a few years is we have this booth The Comicon, and I believe Erin actually talked to one of our librarians there, yeah, and that was kind of how an initial connection was formed. So just like getting into places you wouldn’t think libraries would be.

JOHNER RIEHL: I mean what is, what’s the overall mission of the library? Because I feel like a lot of things we do as parents, you know we go to a play place and enter in a play place and their ulterior motive is they are trying to make money, you know and its providing nice things for kids, but what’s the library stuff all about?

BILL SANNWALD: So it’s like the big mission is to inspire lifelong learning through connections to one another and connections between ourselves.

JOHNER RIEHL: And so really you guys want to get people in there. Not to make money off them but to help them.

BILL SANNWALD: Right, exactly. Yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: I don’t see library as money-making.

JOHNER RIEHL: But it’s just kind of weird to me and I mean that is just one of the cool things about a library in this day and age it is such an altruistic place.

BILL SANNWALD: I think that’s really true. Recently I had a chance to go to the East Mason Detention Facility. There I talked to a group of teens who were just about to be released and I told them about all the resources we offer and this one boy raised his hand and asked “How do you have all this cool stuff for free? What’s the catch?” and he really just didn’t realize like there is no catch, it’s your tax dollars work.

BENSON BARETTE: If anything it’s the library, you know if it doesn’t have altruistic motives it’s that the more people that gets in there, the better it can make its case when it comes right funding.

JOHNER RIEHL: So more people can help it, even do more better job.

BENSON BARETTE: Yeah, you know there’s the idea that like all the libraries are allowed now, you know, some meetings we have, like for our kids especially like our children’s library is hopping. We have places like where they are quiet. But really, if you have a library where things are quiet and things are happening, it is not going to be a library that is going to be around much longer. We need people in there, we need energy, we need community.



JOHNER RIEHL: Well let me ask you about that. What’s the etiquette if your kid is going crazy because I am sure that that is a barrier for some people wanting to go because they are embarrassed by what their kids will do.

HEATHER: Right, like my son during story time there’s no way he’s going to sit still, so I don’t take him to story time.

JOHNER RIEHL: But is there like a level that you guys are accepting, you know like there’s 2 and 3 year-olds in the audience.

BILL SANNWALD: Right. I think as people who work for children, we need to be for them but we also need to have some realistic expectation. So, usually before I do a story time I tell all parents I am not going to be offended if your child starts making noise or they are too wriggly. They don’t have to listen to the story, you guys can you know pick them up, go do something else or if the child is really screaming. Generally if we say you go over you know parents are not happy that that’s happening anyway like, if one of my kids was freaking out somewhere. But as long as we go over and we are not accusatory, we are just like ‘hey, would you mind just maybe stepping outside for a minute and come back in when…’ and usually they are pretty accommodating.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s got to be a tough one though.

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah, it is, you know. Like for me, I had my daughter throwing a fit somewhere and someone comes out and they are like sir… and I’m like I know I am trying to get her quiet. But you know, we also want people to feel welcome and kids are gone make noise and that’s why we advertise ‘This is when our program is happening ‘ like we have other times that are quiet or you might want to plan your visit accordingly. But the new library it is create because we have the children’s library that’s kind of self-contained and then there are quiet spaces, but in the smaller branch we might be like, you know don’t come till 10.30 on Tuesday because that’s when its going to be noisy in here. But explaining to them also that this is important to us, we are reaching these children and they will become lifelong library users and these are the people who are going to be supporting us and is what is helping us you know keep our doors open and because we are able to reach all these people in the community.

JOHNER RIEHL: What are some of the really popular activities that you guys have seen that have been really successful in getting people into the library?

BILL SANNWALD: Story times, of course are the kind of go-to that are huge but I think that most of the newer things like Heather was talking about like the baby yoga, activities like that would be having a lot more classes for adults like Zumba and stuff, but they’ve been having like things for kids kind of like in that category; a lot of more like play activities like Lego Club, or video games programs for kids. But for the 0-5 age I think a lot of things we can kind of just let them have some time to play, time for adults to connect to one another.

JOHN REIHL: Seems like some dance, concerts type things up here in our local library and with some local kids based artists Whole Blue.

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah, Whole Blue, Rocked The House Today at the central library and it was great.

BENSON BARETTE: And l7et’s not forget that Bill himself has led some DJ classes that’s more for the teens I guess.

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah, we have a couple of staff members, I’ll give them a shout out…J Rosso and Tension who are local DJs who are awesome and they did some programs for us and it was great. Benson brought his son.

BENSON BARRETTE: Purely by accident, but yeah, we had fun.

JOHNER RIEHL: So Benson, you were saying that you guys are go to the library like every week.

BENSON BARRETTE: I went pretty much once a week for 10 years now. The thing about life, I think about the reason that that happened, first of all because I like libraries, but also because it seems to sort of have fit each of these sorts of various phases not only of the kid but of myself as a parent, you know. I mean, for the first year as the primary, my wife was working very hard and I was you know miserable at times for sure. That would be silly to pretend not, and the library is kind of a safe place for miserable wierdos who love books.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yes, yes! That’s why I love it so much!

BENSON BARRETTE: And they are kids and you know, that worked for me in that period.

JOHNER RIEHL: I’m picturing that like a marketing script.

BENSON BARRETTE: No! I would like go and get my like book of like Picasso’s blue period you know, and I would like lie down in the kids room while the kid like you know, whatever 3 months-old, and somehow that worked for us. And then a year later what was working was something else like the Spanish story time we went to Mission Valley for a long time and then a year after that something else was working. Like now he needed like comic book things or whatever and I was learning about photography. I had my photography books, he had his thing we hit them both up. And then at some point when it is four, he starts watching movies and so they can like watch the whole Scooby-Dooby-Doo 10 years late from start to finish. We got them all at the library once a week. The once a week thing works too for the big pile of books because you know you’re going to take it back in a week, the DVD’s you only get for a week. So, it kind of works out. It takes the stress out of it in many ways, like it was a routine. Now it’s very much like he goes to the animal section of the non-fiction in the kids room and I go look at the audio books and it seems to have kind of like, the library is always one step ahead of us, like where we’re going to be in our next little phase. Its been wonderful.

ERIN ESTEVES: I know for us that my husband really likes the new location because Cash is to the point where he can walk longer distances and I said it’s about 6 blocks. So Matt really likes to take Cash there in the afternoons and they will walk to the library, go hang out in the library for a little bit then turn right and go to the Peckle Park, and then play in the park for a few minutes, and so by the time he gets home the kid is wiped!

JOHNER RIEHL: Some of the best things you can just ask for as a primary caregiver whether or not you are a weirdo or not, is an activity, right? Something to do…and the library is a great thing, its, the run up to getting there, being there, coming home and even coming home with the stuff that you brought home, so.

BENSON BARRETTE: It’s like shopping without spending money.


HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Well I would say it too. When I was you know, I’m a new parent so, especially the first I’d say, month or two, I was as a mom a little overwhelmed with the fact that like when I was breastfeeding I would sit down to breastfeed and I was there for like 45 minutes trying to feed the baby and I was like ‘Oh My God! What was I going to do at this time? Like I am just sitting here” You can only look at Facebook so much, right. And so finally I’m like I need to read something, I need to use my brain during this time. And I got my library card, thank you very much, and I went online and the library has a ton of free e-books. So I didn’t even have to go to the library and pick it up because my kid hates the car seat. So I just went online and I pick it out and download it and I could sit there, breastfeeding with one arm and clicking my Kindle with the other arm and I could make it work. In that way it was a huge help to me because it gave me kind of like a release when I didn’t leave the house, I couldn’t have an activity, but I was able to keep my brain on during that time.

ERIN ESTEVES: You get the benefit without the cost.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Yes, it was great because I didn’t have to pay anything and you know.

JOHNER RIEHL: Christine is in a book club you know, she’ll always go to the library and see if you can get it there.

ERIN ESTEVES: You know there are these really neat new tricks to the library, like you can put a hold on a book and even its in a different library than yours they will bring it to your library for free.

HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: What? I didn’t know this.

BILL SANNWALD: Yes. We’ve been doing that for a while. And yeah it’s all free, you can put up to 25 holds.

BENSON BARATTE: Its even bigger then that now. Now you can, you can request books from like UCST or yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: Oh, I know, I saw that thing where they opened up to the university library.

BILL SANNWALD: The circuits.

JOHNER RIEHL: How does that work? Do you use trained owls?

BILL SANNWALD: Basically we’re like helping each other, so kind of like I was talking about how we reach people like working with organizations where it’s mutually beneficial, it’s kind of the same thing. We have a lot of materials in our collection that these other library systems might be interested in and their patron’s advice first or so. So we have a small team of people that are just constantly you know having the books in and out all day and their patrons are loving it.

ERIN ESTEVES: That’s great. I’m just really curious as to what my library history is going to look like. Say a hundred years from now somebody stumbles upon it. Do you keep those? For how long do you keep the history?

BILL SANNWALD: No I, I believe for privacy…

BENSON BARATTE: It goes straight on to the NSA.

BILL SANNWALD: No I….we have a lot of people that come in and say hey, can I get my history books because they are curious about what they have read, and we are not actually allowed to keep those type of records.

JOHNER RIEHL: I think we have the right to clearance though.

BILL SANNWALD: Unfortunately I am not at that level. I’m still lowly, but I do not get to see that.

JOHNER RIEHL: Alright, well thanks so much for joining us, and thanks for listening. For more information on public libraries and Bill and what’s going on at San Diego, we’re going to put some links up on our episode page. Please make sure you go to and check that out. . We are going to continue the conversation for members of our Parent Savers’ Club. After the show we are going to talk a little bit more about finding books and how easy it is to do, and how it has changed over the years, so make sure to stick around after that. And if you are interested in learning more about the Parent Savers’ Club visit our website.

[Theme Music]
SUNNY GAULT: Hi Parent Savers’ this is Sunny, I am one of the producers on the show. I am sitting here with Kelly Sue. She is the designer and founder of her company called Baby Moon, which makes multifunctional products for babies. So, Kelly welcome to Parent Savers’. Thanks for joining us.

KELLY SUE: Hi Sunny, thanks for having me.

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely! Tell us a little bit. I know you founded the company, so tell us why you founded the company and why this is so important to you?

KELLY SUE: Well, I designed the Baby Moon Pillow for my daughter when she was young. When she was 3 months-old, she went in for a checkup because she developed a flat head syndrome and I had no idea what that was as a new parent. So and what I found out you know, was when a child is lying down in one position too long, their head is very, very malleable so it causes flat spots. And her pediatrician recommended that we did repositional therapy which did not work for my daughter. She hated lying on her sides, she just wanted to lay on her back. And so you know, I looked out into the market, looking for a product, maybe something she can lay on a pillow or any kind of a support that she can lay on that wouldn’t put any pressure on the back of her head. And I couldn’t find anything out there like it. So I designed this product for her and it worked really well and I know that there are a lot of new parents out there who don’t know what a flat head syndrome is or how it is caused and like me I couldn’t find anything out there. So I really, to me I wanted to help those parents as well and their children. So that’s why I feel that this product is very necessary and important.

SUNNY GAULT: We actually did an episode on Parent Savers’ about plagiocephaly and we had a doctor on to talk about that. You may want to go back in our archives and check them out and understand why this is an issue you know, why kids need a support like this. So tell us a little bit more, I know that’s one of your products then you’re launching a new product, right?

KELLY SUE: Yes, I am. We are launching a product called Cuddly. It’s a children’s wearable blanket and it comes in two different sizes, ages 1 to 3 and then 3 and up. The blanket is really nice, you can use it in car seats and strollers. I found that with my daughter you know she hated wearing coats or blankets over her when she is strapped in, you know, she gets too hot, she wants to take off her coat, you’re driving and you can’t pull over. And you throw on a blanket over them but the blanket slips off, you know, it’s just wasn’t very useful. So I designed a blanket that actually has sleeves and it stays intact. So that she can wear it when she’s strapped in and her arms are still mobile, so she can play with her iPad, or have her snacks or still move herself around without feeling like she is strapped in and bundled up in her blanket.

SUNNY GAULT: Over the year what are you hoping to accomplish with your company? Like what’s the goal? How do you want to help parents?

KELLY SUE: Well I really want to design products that are innovative, products that are multifunctional, so that you know you buy a product that’s not just for one use but has multiple uses. You know a lot like these days parents… you are on a budget and you really want to spend that money on the right product but not just for one use but you know for multiple uses. That’s how I want to help parents out there, you know safe, cost effective and products that really help.

SUNNY GAULT: And how can people purchase your products?

KELLY SUE: They can purchase it on our website, that’s . We are also available on Amazon and over 50 different stores throughout United States.

SUNNY GAULT: And you can go on your website to see all those different locations, right?


SUNNY GAULT: That’s great! And for everyone listening go to their website which is again you enter the promo code NEWMOMMY20 they are going to give you 20% off on your order which is fantastic. So, Kelly thank you so much for being on our show and for creating products that help new parents like us in our everyday lives.

KELLY SUE: Thank you so much Sunny.

[Theme Music]
JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Parent Savers’. Don’t forget to check our sister shows Preggie Pals’, The Boob Group and Twin Talks. Next week we are going to be talking about another new topic of interest that should be great for new and new again parents and how many times can I say new as I wrap up the show? We’re going to do it one more time and maybe it’s the best idea, we’re going to say it all together. This is Parent Savers’: Empowering New Parents!

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

[End of Audio]

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