Menlo’s new children’s library debuts with a celebration

by Linda Hubbard on March 23, 2010

The new children’s section at the Menlo Park Library debuted last Saturday (3/21) but the official grand opening celebration is this Saturday (3/27). We got a tour led by Michelle Barrese (pictured), the library’s head of youth services, whose enthusiasm is infectious. “I’m really excited about the new children’s wing,” she said. “It’s open, light, colorful and more accessible to children. The architect even made steps and seats under the windows in the story area so the children can rush over and watch the trains go by.”

The renovated room features new computers, child-friendly self-check, homework center, colorful carpets, and a story time area.  Explained Barrese: “We have computers for the children and early learning stations coming. We can move the book stacks to make room for special events. We even have self-service book checkout scanners, so moms with worn-out toddlers can make a hasty departure without standing in line.”

Headlining the opening celebration on Saturday, which is free and open to the public, is Boswick the Clown who will appear form 10:15 to 11:00 am and then again from 1:15 to 2:00 pm. In between, Miss Angela will tell stories while Boswick roams and performs tricks. The Menlo Park Library Foundation raised over $500,000 for the renovation.

The renovated space is not only for little kids. “The new teen area is great, too,” said Barrese.  “It’s bigger and on the adult side of the library – it’s been full every afternoon since it became available. I’m so grateful to the Foundation and the city of Menlo Park for making this happen.”

Photo by Chris Gulker

One Comment

James Lathe March 26, 2010 at 9:54 am

I have very fond memories of riding my bike to the Menlo Park Library
in the late 1950s and early 1960s from my home on Oak Avenue. I was
glad I had baskets on my bike (a Schwinn of course) so I could carry
my new library books. I always felt “I was getting away with
something”…books to read and all I needed was a library card. I even
remember having to reach up onto the check out desk to hand the
librarian my card.

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