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A Reimagining Of The Children’s Area In The Library

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Renovations at the Dauphin Public Library have been ongoing off and on for a few months now.

One area in particular which will feature a new look will be the children’s area, thanks in part to a grant received from Manitoba 150, which donated $2.5 million to 240 projects across the province to help celebrate the province’s 150th anniversary.

Alison Moss, director at the Parkland Regional Library, said the local library was successful in a grant application through the Dauphin and District Community Foundation.

“So we were looking at possibilities for projects and we really were dreaming about how to refresh that children’s space. So that funding is contributing to that refresh,” she said.

The children’s area will have new windows and blinds, Moss said, and the vestibule space is also getting refreshed.

“I should point out that we have multiple funders that are contributing to some of these big projects,” she said. “But in the children’s area, we’re really focusing on how to use the Build 150 and the community foundation funding.”

The children’s area will be renamed the Enchanted Reading Room. Some of the furniture, which has been around since the last renovations in 1988, has been repurposed with a modern update on bringing the outdoors in.

“Staff were able to touch up the paint to change it from maroon to brown. And then Northern Edge Logworks has made some incredible toppers for the shelving out of live edge, mirrored that in some wall shelving and also put together a puppet stage for us that’s out of live edge logs,” Moss said. “Those logs are actually harvested in the Duck Mountains and then hand planed and local artists have created that for us.”

Once the vestibule is finished within the next few weeks, bright green carpet will be installed, which will be the finishing touch.

“And then we’ll just have dust everything off and do a big reveal,” Moss said.

Volunteers painted a mural of a Tree of Life and the library was able to purchase an interactive tree that creates a theme for the space.

“It’s got little lady bugs and little rabbits and little toddlers can move those little critters along the roots of the tree,” Moss added.

Being part of the Manitoba 150 celebrations is important for Moss, who believes libraries are the heart of any community.

“They’re really the hub of communities. We are free, welcoming and inclusive spaces that are the living room of our communities,” she said. “We’re in a difficult period right now, having to go curbside. This has made us really creative with our virtual programing. But it is challenging times. So I think being part of this celebrate 150 means we can look back and think about the great things libraries have done in our communities and think about how we supported our communities through these difficult times. We know we were able to stay open in some capacity when other facilities weren’t. And really look forward to celebrating a brighter future.”

When Moss thinks about the library’s tiniest patrons coming in, they’re going to be excited to see the new fresh and fun space available to them.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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