Family Time and Tales

This program establishes a place for children to visit a parent who is currently incarcerated at the Leon County Detention Facility in a comforting, child-friendly environment. The program promotes the shared time of a child reading to their parent and allowing the parent to provide positive feedback and acknowledgment of the experience. The supervising parent can select an age-appropriate book for their child to read provided by the Sheriff’s Office through the library. The child not only receives the experience of reading to their parent, but also book ownership they may not normally experience. After the visit, the child is allowed to keep the book (free of charge) as a reminder of the visit. The visit also exposes the family to other available services from the library.

Child Benefits

  • Provides a safe, comfortable setting for the child to visit with their incarcerated parent
  • Allows the child to share an experience with their incarcerated parent that they normally do not share
  • Provides a visit to a local library that may not normally occur
  • Provides access to other library programs that they are not aware of availability
  • Provides access and ownership of educational books
  • Provides quality time with their incarcerated parent with the purpose of the visit
  • Promotes a love for reading and learning
  • Helps develop the child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • Helps children develop basic language skills and profoundly expand their vocabularies
  • Provides a portal for quality time that is not currently available in the traditional visitation process
  • Studies have shown that the more books in a household the greater advancement in education for minor children in the home
  • Research has identified vast ‘book deserts’ concentrated in low-income communities across the U.S.—with one community having only a single book to be shared among as many as 830 children.Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational inequality in the United States.
  • 51% of students across the nation’s public schools are low income; coming to school without even their basic needs met and under extreme stress.Add to that of the stress of having an incarcerated parent only amplifies stress.

Parent Benefits

  • Allows the parent to share in a common family experience
  • Allows the parent to participate in the promoting of reading and learning for their child
  • Promotes a safe, positive family visit with their child and the incarcerated parent
  • Provides access to other family services through the library that may not commonly be known or accessed
  • Encourages the parent to read more to their child outside the visit
  • Encourages the parent to personally read more

Incarcerated Parent Benefits

  • Allows the parent to share an experience with their child that they normally do not share
  • Provides quality time with their child with the purpose of the visit
  • Allows the parent to participate in the promoting of reading and learning for their child
  • Develops the parent’s relationship with their child and demonstrating common parental skills
  • Improves the reunification process for the parent in returning to their family and community
  • Provides a positive, healthy experience while being incarcerated

Schedule a Visit

Video visitation is available by appointment only. Video visitation users can schedule appointments through Securus Technologies and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Sessions are controlled and monitored by Securus Technologies. Visitors must comply with the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library Code of Conduct and the Leon County Sheriff's Office Video Visitation Rules.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Library at 850-606-2665.

Hours of Operation

Monday: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Sunday: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This program is closed on Leon County holidays. Find the holiday schedule here.

Before a Visit

Before your scheduled video visitation, talk to your children about what to expect during the session. Let them know where they will be going, how long the visit will last and what they’ll be doing together with their parent during the session. Saying goodbye at the end can be tough on young children, so reassure them that they can come back to the Library for a video visit in the future.

During a Visit

The video visitation room is located on the third floor of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Main Library, at 200 West Park Avenue. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled visit.

When you arrive at the Leon County Main Library, take the elevator or stairs to the third floor where you’ll be greeted by a friendly librarian who will welcome you to the space. Children then select the book they would like to read with their loved one. When the session begins, children and their incarcerated parent can read the book aloud to one another, which helps bridge conversation gaps, provides a focus for both parent and child, and encourages recreational reading skill development. A selection of books by reading level are available, and children can take the book home as a keepsake at the end of their visit.

Family Time and Tales