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Montgomery County Public Libraries Dedicates Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center to Honor Longtime Children’s Literacy Advocate

For Immediate Release: Saturday, March 11, 2017

County Executive Ike Leggett today dedicated the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center and unveiled a memorial plaque to honor the legacy of Jan Jablonski at the Noyes Library for Young Children. Jablonski co-founded the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and provided continuous dedicated volunteer service until her death in 2016. Prior to her death, Jablonski served as Noyes Children’s Library Foundation’s co-president. She died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Joining Leggett was Dan Jablonski, Jan’s husband, sons Matthew and Peter Jablonski, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Director Parker Hamilton, Noyes Children's Library Foundation Board of Directors Co-President Diana Ditto, other members of the Board and members of the community.

The Noyes Library for Young Children, located at 10237 Carroll Place in Kensington, is one of Montgomery County Public Libraries 21 branches. The branch provides books and programs specifically for infants to elementary school aged children.

The Noyes Library for Young Children has earned national recognition for being one of the few public libraries exclusively dedicated to serving young children. The Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center will provide resources to create best-practice early literacy training for librarians and library science students, early childhood educators, daycare providers, families with young children and anyone who is inspired to improve literacy for children.

“It is a pleasure to participate in the dedication of the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center,” said Leggett. “Jan’s hard work made our County even more inclusive, compassionate and supportive.”

Jablonski continued to work hard for the Noyes Library for Young Children even after she lost the use of her arms and legs. She successfully spearheaded a fund-raising campaign to make the Noyes Library wheelchair accessible. In March 2016, Jablonski was the first library user of many to access the newly-installed wheel chair ramp to enter the library.

Dan Jablonski said, “Noyes is a safe haven. When you walk in to Noyes, it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what you are. If you’re a child, that’s the beginning, the middle and end of the story.   It was important enough that Jan threw everything she had into it for 30 years.” Mr. Jablonski shared the same words with Bethesda Magazine when his wife died and the message is as relevant today. 

 “It is wonderful we are able to honor Jan and her work to promote the importance of children’s literacy programs,” said MCPL Director Parker Hamilton. “She understood the importance of engaging and inspiring activities that encourage young children to love reading and learning.”

MCPL and the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation are currently leading the Make MORE Noyes Campaign to design and fund a renovation of the historic Library that will make it fully accessible and expand its usable space. The Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer organization that supports the early literacy mission of the Library by promoting early literacy, creating community, honoring history and welcoming all.  For more information on the Foundation and the Make MORE Noyes campaign, go to www.noyeslibraryfoundation.org.

"It is so fitting that Jan's name and lifetime of dedicated work for children is memorialized in the Early Literacy Training Center at Noyes," said Diana Ditto, co-president of the Noyes Children's Library Foundation.  "Jan's gift of understanding children, and her tireless work on their behalf will in turn enable Noyes make a difference in early literacy training in our area and beyond."

For more information about the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center click on Montgomery County Public Libraries Noyes Young Children's Library.

 

Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Judy Stiles  240-463-2442