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ChiRP! Children's Room Project with bird graphic

Why do we need to renovate our Children’s Room?

We have three sets of needs that are driving the need for our Children’s Room renovation project. 

Safety:

The world has changed, the way that we think about designing public spaces for safety has changed. When our Children’s Room was designed no one was thinking about these issues.

  • Lower shelving heights to create better sight lines
  • Change location of staff room to create better sight lines/safety
  • Address egress issues and ease of access to fire door

Access:

One of our Guiding Principles is to make the library a space that works for everyone. This means ensuring access for individuals with disabilities and also employing the principles of Universal Design which make spaces more comfortable for EVERYONE.

  • Lower shelving heights and expanding the width between shelves
  • Improve accessibility/functionality of restrooms
  • Lower/shrink public service desk to better serve children and individuals with disabilities

21st Century Spaces:

Our current Children’s Room was designed in the late 1990s when DVDs started replacing VHS tapes and the turquoise Apple iMac was cutting edge technology.  Children’s programs were primarily “passively” delivered as story times, puppet shows, performances where children came to sit and listen.

Today’s kids are active learners from the time they are babies. In education circles, early literacy skills (talk, sing, read, write, play) and kinesthetic learning practices strive to engage whole bodies in the learning process. 

Library services for older children have also changed. Instead of coming to the library solely for reading and research activities, we’re now creating all kinds of STEAM based experiential learning opportunities for older children. New youth spaces in libraries are flexible, allowing for programs in art, science, technology, and making. These types of programs build 21st century literacies such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, scientific reasoning, and multicultural awareness.