Greece Public Library opens expanded Children’s Center
Greece Public Library celebrated the grand opening of its new children’s center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Town Supervisor Bill Reilich and Deputy Supervisor Michelle Marini; Town Board members Mike Barry, Mike Bloomer, Diana Christodaro and Bill Murphy; Andrew Conlon, receiver of taxes; and Assembly Member Josh Jensen, R-134th District.
Representing the library were director Cassie Guthrie, assistant director Keith Suhr, children’s librarian Jen Pressier and members of the library board. From the construction team were construction manager John Radesi from Christa Construction; architects Emily Connors and Peter Wehner from Passero Associates, and representatives from DiPasquale Construction Company, Mylerson Electric and Landry Mechanical.
Over 60,000 people attended children’s programs at the library between 2017 and 2019, plus an additional 15,000 attendees at early literacy programs. The summer reading program saw a 21% increase in enrollment. Nearly 30% of all materials borrowed in 2019 were from the 3,000 square foot Children’s Room.
“Our library is ever growing and ever changing as we started to track the popularity of our programs and the requests of our community,” Reilich said. “This is the road map we take — we listen to requests made and typically we survey our residents to help us decide which direction to take. We are always looking for ways to bring new and innovative amenities to our community.”
The new center, named the Story Garden, is located in the Main Branch, 2 Vince Tofany Blvd., and includes approximately 7,000 square feet of expanded space, bringing the total space to 10,125 square feet. The expansion was paid for in cash; there was no borrowing or increased tax burdens placed on residents.
New features include a covered children’s story time patio, rotunda play area with a “grocery store” checkout station, planting garden, play castle, and kitchen and chairs for serving up some make-believe meals.
The mezzanine features an interactive tree with a magical fairy ball delivery system, and the upper level hosts a magnetic “gear” display and ball path. The entrance boasts a life-size Lite Brite, lit-up play surface, curved seating and butterfly wings for photographing baby bugs graduates. Dedicated areas are positioned throughout for children to settle in and read.
The space features energy-efficient LED lighting, a dedicated children’s bathroom with kid-sized amenities, a story and craft room with radiant floor heating, centrally located staff offices, skylights and a new children’s librarian reference desk.