Lincoln Library's new children's room has a big opening day

Lincoln Library's new children's room has a big opening day

Children's Room Assistant Margaret Glover, at left, and Children's Librarian Ashley Prior shelve some of the library's large collection of picture books in the new Children's Room. Last Friday the Lincoln Public Library closed to patrons as the staff moved books, computers, and furniture into the new addition for last Monday's opening. (Valley Breeze photo by Bruce McCabe)

LINCOLN - After eight months of construction, the Lincoln Public Library's 2,300-square-foot addition is open to the public.

The new children's room - complete with a glassed-in story room for reading and crafts, touch-screen computers and iPads, and more interactive play space for little ones - opened on Monday.

"Mondays are very busy," said Director Becky Boragine. "We were packed. Every computer and iPad was being used."

The library was closed on Friday, July 26, to allow staff to set up the area.

The functioning circulation desk is now at the new entrance, in former children's room space.

The old entrance is closed, and the former circulation desk is currently storing boxes of light fixtures that will replace some of the building's original lighting from 1980. A new light configuration is needed, Boragine said, to properly light the rearranged shelves.

Work must also still be done to remove both sets of doors at the former entrance to make space for a reading area. The exterior glass wall will remain and the interior one will be removed to make an open area that lets in natural light.

Asst. Director Nancy Ross said the reference area, currently on the far wall away from the new children's room, will be moved to a more central location.

But until then, visitors are enjoying the new space and library officials are seeing the light at the end of the projects.

"People are pretty thrilled," Boragine said. "They're very happy."

She said the library plans to have a grand opening celebration, but no dates have yet been determined.

The new addition also comes with new Children's Librarian Ashley Prior, who's hiring in late May happened to coincide with the construction's completion.

With a budget of $620,000, the project was paid for with $400,000 from the Financial Town Meeting, $180,000 from The Champlin Foundation, and $88,567 from impact fees.

The library will still raise funds, Boragine said, for some of the remaining projects, but she said the construction of the addition "was great."

"It's allowing us additional space, which is something that we've needed," Boragine said. "We've been book-locked," and unable to add books on packed shelves without removing others.

Now there is plenty of space, she said.

The Lincoln Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.