Children get a special visit to the library | Local news
Some of the youngest loyal patrons of the Hastings Public Library have been given a tour of the renovations which will be unveiled for a grand reopening on Saturday.
Participants in the library’s summer reading program who completed a number of tasks won a Golden Ticket for Special Tours on October 7.
Laura Buttermore from Hastings brought daughters Emelyn, 4, and Lainey, 2. The family appreciated the changes, especially at the upper level for children and adolescents.
The girls liked the bright colors and added features on the second floor. For Emelyn and others, a new favorite bounced off a stuffed snake between two shelves of children’s books. The kids loved the movement of the rocking chairs and testing all the moving parts on ball rolling chairs. They also enjoyed the enclave with a Lego table and a view of the street below.
Tanner Kauffman, 7, of Hastings was among those riding the stuffed snake.
âThe snake is a lot of fun,â he said.
Morgan Karel, public relations coordinator, was among those who showed the library. She noted that the shelves increase in size as the offerings move from picture books to chapter books to young adult novels.
âAs you grow, the library grows with you,â Karel said.
Karel said the purpose of the tours was to make children more excited about the renovations and eager to return to the library. Participants received special invitations in the mail. They wanted to limit the number of people coming until the official unveiling.
“We try to keep as many surprises as possible,” she said. âOverall, we want to be able to take their breath away. “
Some kids also searched for their favorite features in the original library. Many had been incorporated into the redesigned space.
Daphne Keizer, 4, of Kenesaw, asked her mother Angela about the carpeted tub that had been one of her favorite reading spots in the kids’ area. Tour guides explained that the tub was undergoing renovations but would be taken back to the library.
Among the new features, Daphne liked the rocking chairs the most.
Her older siblings Leo, 7, and Helen, 9, thought the library seemed to be much bigger.
Leo loves the snake the most while his older sister’s favorite feature is the window facing the street.
âI think it’s very cool,â said Helen. âIt’s fun to see below. “
Tanner Kauffman’s favorite area is the basement crafting space. The area includes 3D printers, laser cutter, green screen, soundboard and more.
He is delighted that the library is reopening its doors so that he can once again make regular visits.
âI love it,â he said. âWe’re going to be spending a lot of time here.
City engineer Dave Wacker said the basement was where the library’s biggest transformation happened. The lower level has evolved from a cramped storage space to an open and inviting space for public use.
Wacker was involved in the previous changes to the library. He said the latest renovations will make the building usable for years to come. There is a new wiring system, electrical outlets, a heating and air conditioning system as well as an LED lighting system.
âIt’s a good use of an existing resource,â he said. “I think this is something voters will be very proud of.”
This is certainly the goal of the director of the library Amy Hafer.
In the last two weeks leading up to the reopening, she said it felt like a million little things they needed to sort out before they revealed the completed library.
âIt’s so fantastic that a community can do this that it sometimes feels like a dream,â she said. “I think we are so lucky as a community to be able to put this together.”
While there are concerns about removing some features, like the spiral staircase, Hafer said she hopes people will visit the building with new eyes and share the community’s vision for a renewed space.
Gold ticket holders seemed impressed with the changes to the library. In addition to the preview, visitors were able to view a book using the new automated self-checkout system.
Buttermore said she and her family enjoy spending time at the library, regardless of her location.
âWe also liked it at the museum because we could go to the museum at the same time,â she said.