Newton’s Library building turns 30, constructs new children’s room
Since the Newton Free Library’s Homer Street building opened in 1991, it has evolved to meet community demands, director Jill Mercurio said in a recent interview.
Staff members prepare to celebrate the establishment’s 30th anniversary on September 18.
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The anniversary is “a wonderful milestone for our building,” said Mercurio.
“The [are] lots of good things to look forward to, ”she said of the upcoming celebration.
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Some highlights include:
- A treasure hunt for adults and children
- A petting zoo ‘stuff’ library for those interested in learning more about non-book items available at the library, such as musical instruments, puzzles, telescopes, laptops with hotspots , bird watching kits, gardening tools and home improvement tools, among others.
- Dedication of a new sculpture donated by Newtonian artist Nancy Schon who created the sculpture “Make Way for Ducklings” at the Boston Public Garden as well as the pieces Winnie Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet outside the library. The new sculpture is a sunflower made up of petals that name each Newton village. It will be installed in the main square on rue Homer.
- Backstage tours
- Poster with artifacts dating from the construction of the building
- Treats and family concert
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More information will be available on the library’s website (https://www.newtonfreelibrary.net/), the September newsletter and in the building’s print materials.
Upcoming children’s room change
Construction of a renovated and larger nursery will begin this fall, Mercurio said.
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According to Josh Morse, Commissioner of Public Buildings, the design will cost $ 75,190 and the construction will cost $ 1,679,420.
“We have not yet finalized all the costs for our project, but we are confident that the project will fall within the project’s budget of $ 2 million,” he said by email.
While the city will pay for the building changes, the library’s board is raising funds for furniture, technology, and shelving. Members hope to raise $ 150,000 this year and have already raised funds. They aim to raise $ 400,000 in total, Mercurio said.
During construction, part of the children’s bedroom collection will move to the Druker auditorium. As this space is much smaller than the current children’s room, some books will need to be put away.
When the new and improved children’s room is built, it will extend to the first floor atrium. Large print will move through the atrium to the adult DVD section. DVDs will go to the second floor. The library’s special collection, which includes articles on Newton’s history, will be on the third floor.
Mercurio said she hopes construction will be completed by May 2022.