West Niagara Libraries Partner to Provide Free Books for Babies 

Lincoln Pelham Public Library (LPPL) has partnered with Grimsby Public Library (GPL) and West Lincoln Public Library (WLPL) to provide a free book for every baby born at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH).  

Every year approximately 750 babies are born at WLMH. Starting in June 2024, all babies and parents will receive a free board book and bookmark that includes information about the benefits of reading to children from infancy. Books will be added to the WLMH Foundation’s A Star is Born packages, which include many donated items for the newborn baby and parents. Dawson Reeve–born a day and a half earlier at WLMH–and his parents Justine and Dylan were presented with the first book in the Baby’s First Book initiative.  

New parents in Pelham can pick up a free book at the Fonthill and Maple Acre Branches starting June 24.

Baby’s First Book is generously funded by Niagara Community Foundation’s (NCF) Mini Grant Program. “NCF is pleased to support this worthwhile initiative,” says Bryan Rose, Executive Director with NCF. “Our Mini Grant program is a small but mighty tool available to our charity partners. Baby’s First Book is a great example of how a seemingly small grant can make a large and lasting impact in the community.” 

Public libraries are a wonderful resource for growing families, offering free programs such as story times where caregivers and new parents can connect and form friendships. A library card provides access to thousands of books to foster a lifelong love of reading.  

“We are excited about partnering with the public libraries in Grimsby, Lincoln, and West Lincoln to enhance the ‘A Star is Born’ program at WLMH by including a baby book in our newborn packages. Reading to newborns is the first step in nurturing a lifetime of curiosity and learning, laying the foundation for language and emotional growth from their earliest days.” says Pamela Ellens, Executive Director, WLMH Foundation. 

“This partnership is a wonderful way to maximize impact and collaborate with our neighbours in Grimsby and West Lincoln to ensure families in West Niagara understand the importance of early literacy and promote the free resources and supports available at public libraries. We can’t wait to see all these new families in our libraries in the coming months!” remarks Julie Andrews, Chief Executive Officer, LPPL.  

In photo, from left to right:

Pamela Ellens, Executive Director, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation
Deirdra Burke, Board Chair, Grimsby Public Library
Justine Reeve (holding baby Dawson Reeve)
Kathryn Drury, CEO and Chief Librarian, Grimsby Public Library
Cindy Weir, CEO, West Lincoln Public Library
Cassandra Best, Fund Development Coordinator, Lincoln Pelham Public Library
Julie Andrews, Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Pelham Public Library
Julie Adams, Board Chair, West Lincoln Public Library
Donna Burton, Board Chair, Lincoln Pelham Public Library
Bryan Rose, Executive Director, Niagara Community Foundation