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Archive for Children’s Expansion

Storytimes start next week in our new room!

storytime_room_Jblog

We are super excited about library storytimes beginning next week, January 19, in our new Storytime Room.  Storytime Schedule

The storytime space has doubled in size and has beautiful flooring, walls and butterfly decor, with access to an outdoor patio and garden area.  Special thanks goes to our donors who have memorialized loved ones with these wonderful spaces, The Tami Borck Storytime Room and The  Goldstein Garden.

garden doorsThis semester, we are trying out some new storytime ideas and formats, as well as keeping many of our treasured favorites.  Nature Storytimes on Tuesday and Saturday mornings will feature stories about plants, Earth and animals, and will include an activity or craft. When possible, this storytime will take place outdoors in the garden.

Evening Storytimes on Tuesdays at 6:30 will be led by Mr. Brian. Families are encouraged to attend together, and children are invited to wear pajamas so they ready for the bedtime routine when they get home.   Mr. Brian will also include “Night for Knowledge” some weeks, which is geared at helping children and caregivers familiarize themselves with the new Children’s Room.

Move and Groove Storytimes will continue with two options per week for toddlers (18-36 months) and two for preschoolers (ages 3 & up).  These popular storytimes feature lots of lively music, dancing, and action rhymes, as well as fabulous stories and puppets to keep young children engaged.

Reading Round Up will take place on Tuesday afternoons for older preschoolers (age 4 and up), with longer books, fun props, music, and activities that challenge growing minds.

If you have a little one under 18 months old, Baby Rhyme Time is the perfect opportunity for you to bring in your baby and enjoy bouncy songs, nursery rhymes, short books, and fun music.

Our fabulous six children’s librarians have been working to prepare our best storytime semester yet. We hope to see you next week in the fabulous Storytime Room for lots of fun!

 

Posted in: Children's Dept, Children's Expansion, For Kids, Parents

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New Year, New Room!

By Jennifer Bergen, Children’s Services Manager

It has been nearly a full year since Kelley Construction Company broke ground outside the library to begin the children’s room expansion. Now, on January 17, 2015, just 358 days after the ceremonial groundbreaking, we will have a grand opening celebration to showcase the new Children’s Room, including fantastic reading areas, imaginative play spaces, and a larger Storytime Room for programs.

Already, the room is drawing crowds of kids, from an excited after-school bunch needing a place to hang out before evening ball games, to little tots discovering the secret doors into the playhouse.

kidsWalking into the room, anyone familiar with the library will immediately notice changes. Colorful carpet tiles lighten up the room, and an innovative bookshelf in the entryway draws readers in to have a look at the newest books available.  Kids who find something they like can crawl right into the bookshelf and begin reading in a comfy built-in nook.

Picture books have grown in popularity, so that space is enlarged with more book displays to show off the fantastic illustrations that define this genre.  The area formerly used for storytime has been renovated to encompass both an early literacy space for preschoolers and toddlers, as well as a parent and teacher resource center with a collection of books for adults.  Parents can browse for the perfect “toddler years” guide while their little ones are entertained with puppets, puzzles and books.

The new Storytime Room is a fabulous space with media capabilities that will allow for innovative programs.  There will be plenty of room for all the kids an  caregivers and even the double strollers.  Our first storytime in the room will be January 19.  Until then, children are enjoying the large, open space, bean bag animals, and bright colored cubes for seating.  On nicer winter days, families can slip out the side doors and enjoy the fenced-in garden area, free to explore nature, read outdoors, draw with chalk or play with items on the outside table.  Our new storytime schedule includes a Nature Storytime twice a week that will take place outdoors as often as possible.

roomOn the other side of the room, a special feature kids of all ages seem to enjoy is the climbable “Mount Verde”, a large, lime green, multi-level structure where kids can sit, lounge, or pose as King of the Mountain.  The structure resides in the Reading Corner amidst giant pillows, puzzle shaped seats, and soft comfy chairs.  The oval sloped lounge chair and blue wavy couch are other fun pieces on which kids or adults can relax as they preview their library choices.  This is the scene passers-by see as they drive past the windows of the library on Poyntz, and it is often teeming with children and parents.

Nestled around the edges of the room next to the Reading Corner are “neighborhoods” of books: Arts & Crafts, Science & Nature, Graphic Novels, Transportation, Geography, History, Animals, and Fairy Tales & Folklore.  Excellent selections of books on these subjects are perfect for young browsers who want to find everything on their favorite topics.  Children are drawn in with interactive features such as a magnetic gear and propeller wall, an enormous globe to spin, crafts to make on the spot, rotating displays, objects to build with, and even some live fire-bellied toads.  The fairy tale dress up clothes have been very popular, too.

The library’s large collection of children’s fiction is also relocated to this part of the room, and it includes divisions for beginning readers and early chapter books to help younger children find titles at the right reading level.

The additional space has allowed room for the children’s media collections that had been housed next to the adult media.  Children’s movies are now next to the librarians’ service desk, along with the children’s music CDs and audiobooks.  Customers have commented that they didn’t know the library had books on CD or music CDs for children until now.

studySoon, the Technology Zone in the children’s room will be upgraded with twelve touchscreen computers just for kids, loaded with entertaining and educational games, and quick links to kid-friendly websites.

Check it all out first hand, and tell us what you think. We are interested in hearing feedback as we continue to organize all our new furnishings and materials to make it the best library possible for all the kids and families who come in.  Join us on January 17, between 1:00 and 4:00, as we celebrate this new space with donor recognition, fun activities around the room for children, a musical performance by Rockin’ Rob at 2:00, and costumed characters Olivia and Curious George roaming the library.

Posted in: Children's Dept, Children's Expansion, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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December Construction Update

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

We now wrapping up the final stages of the Children’s Expansion Project, and while each step has been exciting, it seems like all of the fun stuff came in at once! If you’ve been in the library, you might have seen some of the exciting additions to the Children’s Room. If not, we’d love for you to come and check it out!

Last Wednesday, we got truckloads of furnishings to be added to the Children’s Room. We could hardly wait to start moving it all in!

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Some of these new items included spiffy tables and chairs, and some very, very cool interactable furniture. We are in love with the cool colors and fun textures–they make the Children’s Room look so lively!

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We also received new shelving for our interactive items and signage with beautiful, bright pictures for the different neighborhoods in the Children’s Room. We were

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Thanks to a skilled team of workers, everything was assembled and hung on the wall quickly, including our lovely donor wall.

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That meant more time for people to come in and start testing things out, from climbing on the foam blocks to sitting on our comfy new seats to studying at the tables and playing with the fun toys.

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Thanks to everyone in the community for their support and enthusiasm! If you’ve got any questions about what comes next, just let us know!

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Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, Children's Expansion, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

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Furniture and Signage is Arriving!

This week, the Children’s Room will be getting new signs to help customers locate our books and media, and to identify the new “neighborhood” sections.  New tables and chairs will be arriving, along with some fun, comfy seating and playful pieces.

Most of the new furnishings will  be installed on Wednesday and Thursday.  The Children’s Room may not be accessible during all open hours on those days.

Come by this weekend to see the transformation!

group small

large letter A and other foam furniture chairs small

 

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Progress in the new space

Stop by and see the progress in the north addition to the Children’s Room!  Carpet is down in this area, and temporary shelving has been set up so we can move some books out of the current space for the rest of the carpeting.  The new area will be open to the public in a few weeks while renovations in the old room are finished up.  We can’t wait for kids to try out the window seat!

windows and carpet

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September Construction Update

The Children’s Library is really shaping up! Everything is still on schedule to be completed in mid-December and the big party will happen on January 17, 2015–unless we’re in the middle of a giant snow storm, that is. (And if that’s the case, come out and party with us the following Saturday.)

exterior of new construction

Flooring and lights have been installed in the storytime room. We have visions of sweeping up glitter, laughing when kids spill glue, and running around like very happy librarians with space for all the kiddos, parents and strollers who come to storytime.

Rachel in the storytime room

New furniture has been arriving by the truckload. We’re unpacking very cool, blue, kid-sized chairs, giant pillows for the window seats, new storytime rugs, and puppet trees. Stay tuned for the play house, loft, and funky couch that will be arriving soon.

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We also have a big stack of new computers to install. The new space will feature twelve brand-new computer stations with touch screens. Parents will be pleased to learn that each station has a 30 minute time limit. If no one is waiting in line, kids will be able to stay for an additional 30 minutes, however, the timer is also pretty handy for parents who want to say, “Okay, time’s up. Let’s go read a book outside!”

Laura with new computers

Which brings me to the patio and garden space. The fence is up and plants will be arriving soon. The big patio will let us hold storytime out in the sunshine and the sturdy fence will keep kiddos safe from cars.  We’ll have some very nice tables and chairs in place so you and your children will be able to relax enjoy a good book outdoors throughout the day, too.

patio as seen through the storytime room doors

Librarians have been organizing the children’s books into neighborhoods. Miss Rachel announced yesterday that she labeled the very last book! Here’s a preview of how things will look on the shelves. We hope books will be even easier for you to find.

spines

Staff have been given a sneak peek of the new spaces and “ooohs and aaaaahs” were heard from everyone. Architects and construction crews have done a fantastic job creating a new children’s library we can all be proud of.

staff in the new library

Thank you for all the patience and support! I think you will be very impressed with the finished product, and I think kids are going to have a lot of fun reading at Manhattan Public Library.

If you have any questions about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (785) 776-4741 ext. 125 or kidstaff@mhklibrary.org.

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Record numbers for storytimes!

Storytime Photo

Ms. Rachel reads to a fun crowd last Thursday.

Our fall semester of storytimes is off to a great start!  Our first storytime on September 8 had 56 children in attendance, a new record for us.  Due to our construction project, the number of weekly storytimes is reduced from previous semesters, but we will do our best to fit everyone into our temporary storytime space in the library’s lower atrium. It may be a little crowded, but it is still tons of fun!  Check out our storytime schedule, as well as some special events we have coming up.  We welcome new families to our storytimes each week, so please come try it out.  No registration needed, and it’s always free!

Posted in: Children's Dept, Children's Expansion, For Kids, Parents

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August Construction Update

By Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

The year is flying by and the children’s library expansion is flying right along with it.

The limestone masonry that defines so many of the beautiful buildings in Manhattan is almost complete. It is impressive to see how quickly this talented crew can make a wall out of a pile of stones. They have been able to match the existing structure perfectly!

stone masons building limestone wall

Soon, only the interior work will be left. Paint colors are being selected and the new carpeting should start to arrive in September.

green wall in storytime room

Erin Wages, the interior architect, is creating a fun and welcoming space for kids and parents. The wall of windows and window seats are sure to be big favorites.

second floor windows

I could only get access to the second floor space. The windows on the first floor look just like this, only lower.

Staff in the children’s department have chosen some fun colors and patterns for the furniture and flooring. They’re currently test driving chair samples to make sure everything will be comfortable. I’ve noticed people taking their breaks on the new chairs, so I think we’ve found some winners.

Amber sitting in lounge chair

Amber demonstrates the extreme comfort.

Choices are being made for the garden, too. I’ve heard talk of a Walking Stick Tree that may be planted soon. What a perfect spot to sit and read Grimm’s fairy tales!

walking stick tree

Contorted Filbert aka “Waling Stick Tree” photo courtesy of www.treeplanter.com

Patrons and donors have given so much support to the children’s library expansion project, and you are all invited to the grand opening celebration that is planned for mid-January. In the meantime, feel free to stop by to see the progress (and check out a few books and movies while you’re here).

If you have any questions about the library or the expansion project, please contact us at 785-776-4741.

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Construction Halfway Point

By Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

Construction is going well and the project is starting to move indoors. Windows will be installed soon, and the roof work is almost completed, just in time for the warmer weather and some wild storms. The expansion is on schedule to be completed in December and we hope to have the grand opening celebration in January.

Here are a few photos from a perspective the public doesn’t usually get to see.

If you have any questions about the construction project, please contact us at kidstaff@mhklibrary.org.   old storytime room mid-construction We’ll call this one “before.”

roofers covering project in the rain What do roofers like less than heat? Rain!crane lifting new HVAC onto roof

This way! The new HVAC system was hoisted into place by crane.Roofers from Topeka worked hard to get the job done. The roof was finished very quickly, once the rain stopped!

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