This is not the dusty, musty library you remember from your youth. The place where dog-eared books were never in the right place, where cranky librarians doled out the shushes with a heavy hand, where you wanted to grab your books and escape to the sunshine as soon as possible. This is the polar opposite – it’s bright and sunny, with tons of books, loads of corners designed to entice you to dig into that book right-this-minute, and even toys and places to play for kids who need a break from being quiet. After a yearlong renovation, the Children’s Library is now open, and it was well worth the wait. In fact, we couldn’t decide what we liked best about it, so we decided to ask the experts – the kids and parents who were making themselves right at home.
We asked kids what they liked best about the new library:
1. They are nice to kids, because they are polite to kids and they are very nice librarians. They help you find good books or books you are looking for.
2. They have a stage for kids. (Note from Mom: And great weekly story times are here for all ages. Sign up early; they fill up fast.)
3. My favorite thing is to read books, and they have a LOT of books.
4. They have a nice playroom (the Family Room) for kids. The shapes and puppets are the best.
5. The floors are nice and shiny. It’s bright, too.
6. The Fire Station is (still) across the street.
And then we asked parents:
1. Clean bathrooms. Handy bathrooms. A family bathroom. So…the bathrooms.
2. Stroller parking, nicely marked and tucked away.
3. Lots of nooks and crannies for curling up to read aloud to kids. The mod furniture is comfy, and pretty too. (You’ll want to bring home several of the chairs, along with your stack of books!)
4. The Family Room (with the toys) is enclosed, so when kids need some noisy playtime, you don’t feel the need to be constantly shushing, apologizing, or reminding kids to use “inside voices.”
5. The Enchanted Reading Room is, in fact, enchanting.
6. The coffee shop is (still) tucked in the lobby.
Did we mention it’s across the street from the Fire Station (with hands down, the nicest (and cutest) firemen on earth, who will happily let your kiddos tour the station, will slide down the pole for them, and will send them home with fire hats and badges, committed to the life of a hero)? And that there’s a Kelly’s Coffee on the premises with the foresight to stock not only coffee for mom, but ice cream, candy and fudgey treats for all? It was worth the elaboration, as is the mention that there is free parking for 2 hours in the attached city lot.
Open Monday – Thursday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Fridays & Saturdays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
This is a town that loves libraries – there are some exquisite ones. Which one does your family favor?
-Images courtesy of Meghan Rose