On Wednesday night, community members got to see the new design plan for the Livingston County Library’s new children’s library.
The event allowed interested area residents the chance to review bcDESIGNGROUP’s proposed design for the old Walgreens building, which the library purchased in 2018 with funds from the Livingston County Library Charitable Trust, which was started after Lillian DesMarias, a former library director left the library more than $8 million in 2013.
Area residents visited with board members and Library Director Candy Warren while viewing the artist renderings of the new design for the building, which will house the children's and teen collections and serve as a home for programming and expanded services for those age groups.
The building will be separated into sections, one for children, another for teens and a lounge area for middle readers.
“As far as space goes we are so excited with what bcDESIGNGROUP has come up with for us . They have proposed a large programming area for children and teens along with a room dedicated specifically to story time, “ Warren said.
There will also be a sensory room for kids featuring sand tables and play house. “There will even be an area for our youngest readers for babies, she added. “We are really excited about that and are also hoping to incorporate a nursing room.”
Currently, the children’s and teen’s area are in one room at the library leaving cramped conditions and no room for expansion, Warren said.
In the new building, the areas will be separated. The teen area will include a teen-only computer area, lounge, group study room and individual study place and a place to hang out.
There will also be a new lounge area for middle readers, Warren said.
“Middle readers are growing in confidence but many times parents still want to help have a role in the topics their children choose to read about, that are age and topic appropriate,” she said. “Currently, we have about two shelves with a middle reader collection, at the new facility they will have an expanded collection and an area of their own.”
As part of the gift DesMarias left the library, she noted the donation should be spent on the collection, programing and then capital improvements.
“This addresses all of those areas,” Warren said. “We can expand programming for all age groups and the collection and are expanding and improving the library as a whole.”
The library is out of space for expansion, storage and employees must share areas. The addition of the children's library will open up space to allow more creative programming and other behind-the-scenes work to be done more easily.
There will not be an addition of children and teens library staff at this time, Warren said. Hours of the children's library will be adjusted ensuring it is open when it is most needed and will allow the five dedicated employees to flex their schedules in order to meet those needs.
The library board and employees are still working hard to come up with a name for the new children’s library, and Warren said they welcome suggestions.
“We want to come up with something that is easy to say and catchy,” Warren said. “But we also want to incorporate Lillian’s name in some way.”
Warren said it is her and the board’s hopes begin the process of seeking construction bids in the next few weeks and to ultimately move into the new children’s library by the end of the year.