Skip to main content

More Room to Play, Sit, & Read at Norman Williams Public Library's Renovated Children’s Room

Sep 19, 2017 04:50PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
By Meg Brazill

Everyone has a favorite spot in the Norman Williams Public Library, but there is one undisputed favorite. The children’s room is a library within a library, filled with special spots and cozy corners for reading and being read to. Bookshelves beckon with stories to read and share, and new books are added monthly. There are tables of varying heights for wee ones and big kids, as well as cozy couches. There’s even a separate area for teenagers.

It’s also a great place to do homework with a few computer terminals on hand for research. A wall of windows brings in sunlight and glimpses of the children’s garden outside. In summer, air conditioning keeps the space cool and, in winter, warmth is provided by radiant floor heating. But it wasn’t always so.

In 2000, the NWPL reopened following a major renovation. The children’s room was reborn in a different part of the building, occupying about a third of NWPL’s overall square footage. Its popularity soared; the children’s library accounts for nearly half of the library’s total circulation. Numbers aside, you can see its popularity in action with a visit where you’ll also meet Director of Youth Services Melissa Strayton.

A couple of years ago, Melissa spearheaded the plan for a much-needed renovation of the children’s room where young visitors play, sit, and read on the floor. The case for new carpeting was compelling. In addition, it became clear that the room needed new cove molding, vinyl flooring for the crafts room, paint throughout the entire floor, and new cushions for seating.

Melissa cites the work of vendor Atkinson Carpet (Haverhill, Massachusetts) as going above and beyond with their professional installation of Interface FLOR tiles. Eleanor Shepard’s (Shepard Interiors, Quechee) generous donation of labor and material costs provided new custom rocker cushions, and the Friends of the Norman Williams Public Library will provide covers for those cushions! Over the course of the project, color consultant/artist/designer Kirstin W. Quick provided valuable input and advice. And painters Steve Bishop and Randy Witkowski (owners, High Quality Painting Co.) were indomitable in getting the job done. Many, many people championed the effort, funded it, and helped make it happen—including library staff—and in May 2017, the newly refreshed Children’s Library reopened to the public. Come visit! And bring your favorite kid.

Baby/Toddler Story Time / Ages birth to 3 years

Mondays at 10:30am
This session features short stories interspersed with songs and finger plays.

Preschool Story Time / Ages 3 to 5 years

Tuesdays at 10:30am
This session features thematically related stories and a tie-in craft or activity.
Always check with the library for the most recent schedule.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Woodstock Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline