In June, library officials announced that the room would be getting an overhaul, complete with a new carpet, ceiling, energy efficient LED lights and a new circulation area. Following the completion of that project, the library plans to install a new reference desk and early-literacy computer for children.
According to Library Director Tracy Wright, the town has provided $15,000 for the carpeting, the Friends of the Eastchester Public Library have pledged $10,000 and more than $10,000 in donations from the community have been received. The library has also applied for a matching $6,500 grant with the Friends, which would be used to replace the ceiling and lighting fixtures.
Wright said that the entire Eastchester community has pitched in, from important benefactors to children putting a few quarters in the donation box.
“The community has been incredible, absolutely wonderful. It’s been a little bit unbelievable,” she said. “We had a few thousand dollar donations, Stop and Shop gave $1,000 and kids are pitching in dollars and coins. Elementary students are selling bracelets and the Middle School Honor Society might make us their yearlong project.”
Renovations in the Children’s Room are set to be done in phases so it never has to close. Wright hopes to begin replacing the carpet by the beginning of November, adding that it should only take a few days. Once the carpeting is complete, work will begin on the new-and-improved, bright, kid friendlier circulation area.
“We have the new circulation area designed to include hot air balloons with book themes and popular literary characters,” Wright said. “We want it to be in 3D. When we first started talking about fund-raising it was going to be mostly flat, but the more money we raised, the further the design came out from the wall. We think it will be entirely 3D around the circulation area, which is the first thing people see.”
Wright said the renovation will likely be complete by summer 2014. She added that the cosmetic changes will be made first, so patrons might start to see results at the library by the end of the year.
“We’re trying to do the construction in stages so the room is never closed. It’ll be inconvenient from time to time, but it’s important to us that we keep it open,” Wright said. “We’re so proud of our kids and we have a very active Children’s Room. We’re excited to get this done for them.”
The Friends of the Eastchester Public Library have several more fund-raising events planned this month. From 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the library will have its annual Fair Day, featuring children-friendly events, workshops, food and crafts. There will also be a Wine and Cheese night on Sept. 27, featuring food and drink from Eastchester and Bronxville businesses.
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