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By Shannon Hernandez, Feb. 22, 2022

The virtual grand opening for the University Library’s Bronco Family Space took place on Feb. 15, encouraging Cal Poly Pomona parents to take advantage of a new space on campus to support parenting students and employees.

The Bronco Family Space is located on the third floor of the library, with a setup for children to read a broad selection of books and play, all while students or faculty members can catch up on work.

During the virtual grand opening, Dean of the University Library Pat Hawthorne presented an overview of the space, and now that students are back on campus, library staff are excited to see it lively once again.

The Bronco Family Space is located in the library’s third floor. (Shannon Hernandez | The Poly Post)

“Our goal is to recognize the needs of this community and create an inclusive and welcoming family space inside the library, a place where a parent can study and expand their horizons while succeeding in their own academic studies and in the same place and space the younger family member can enjoy fun books to read, play with toys and feel welcome,” said Hawthorne.

Student parents often find it difficult to work on assignments and take care of their child, so the library took the initiative to support them.

Research and Instruction Librarian Sally Romero is one of the four individuals who worked on the proposal and helped make this space possible on campus.

“It’s an opportunity and a first step to supporting the community that has children,” said Romero. “Whether it be your own or someone you care for, just having a space that welcomes children is something that is changing the demographic of what a traditional student looks like, so we need to step forward in supporting our community.”

Romero also shared that she has already used the space with her 4-year-old son, and he didn’t want to leave.

The space is open for everyone to and coincides with the library’s operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The setup is filled with books, toys, a couch and a dress-up play station that was provided by funding from the Office of Student Success.

The library is ensuring that there are plenty of sanitization wipes and hand sanitizers nearby and recommended to use before entering and using the area and following the campus’ health and safety protocols.

Jessica Coronel, a biochemistry major, has a 3-year-old daughter who spends time at the Children’s Center on campus.

“I’m so happy to see that the Bronco Family Space finally opened because it would be really nice to have a study buddy there but at the same time, she is able to go and play with toys or read the books that are provided while I catch up on schoolwork,” said Coronel.

Coronel also stated that she had taken her daughter to the library prior to the Bronco Family Space being there and it was difficult for her to study because her daughter was crying, so now she looks forward to giving it another try.

As students return to campus from online instruction, some find the transition difficult as they have children or someone to care for during class hours, so parenting students are excited to use the space this semester.

“As a parenting student, it feels as if all the resources on campus are targeted for traditional college students but now that the Bronco Family Space is available, I feel like parenting students are being recognized,” said Coronel.

For more information on the Bronco Family Space, the University Library encourages students to follow their social media or visit the website.

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