Child care library dedicated to Talley

by Kamariea Forcier

While some people celebrate their love with flowers and candy, a small group of children and teachers at the University Child Care Center will spend the day recalling a dear friend’s memory.
This is the center that Ambreen Talley attended when her mother, University student Kami Talley, was murdered last Feb. 14.
To remember Kami Talley, the child care center started a collection of books and videos to help young children deal with painful and traumatic events in their lives.
“It is planned as a low-key, respectful and reflective day to remember our friend,” said Patty Finstad, director of the child care center.
The idea of a private resource library started in April 1996 during a week set aside to celebrate young children, said Finstad. As part of that week, the center hosted a book sale and displayed several books that help adults assist their children in coping with difficult events.
The center was able to purchase several books for its collection from the money earned during the book sale, Finstad said.
“We were trying to think of something that would combine (Talley’s) values with our values,” said Finstad. “And we thought that a library would best represent her goals.
“Once we did the book sale, it gave us something empowering to work on, where we felt we were respectful of her memory,” she said.
Literature prepared for the event stated that Talley believed books and education were crucial to building a better world for children.
“Kami was a tremendous, avid reader,” said Finstad. “She loved reading books to her daughter.”
The library currently has about 120 books, some written for children and some written to help parents explain issues.
Finstad said her goals are to have more books and provide two copies of each book or video as a resource for parents.
After Talley’s death, Finstad said she and her staff realized they had no resources to offer parents to help deal with their children’s grief.
“A year ago, we didn’t have any books to help people understand and explain what was happening. Now we have the room and a special set of resources to turn to,” said Finstad.
The books help parents and children understand problems stemming from situations such as a chronic illness, loss of a grandparent or friend and divorce.
Although the center will not be open to the public, Finstad said she plans to lend the books to other child care centers in the community, as well as to University programs that help educators and children deal with stress issues.
“This is not about anyone but (Talley’s) memory and our library,” said Finstad about today’s event.