New year, new spaces, new furniture

Gordon Woods / Journal — Warner Library children’s librarian Corey Campbell shows an area of the second floor about to receive new furniture and redevelopment as a play and socializing area for children and families.

A reimagined experience will greet children’s library patrons after the holiday

CLINTON — The children’s department at Vespasian Warner Public Library soon will see major changes to the second floor thanks in part to a grant the library received in 2022.

New furniture for the children’s department will be the result of the grant, but there also will be some other changes and updates to improve the overall experience for children and their families using the floor.

“It’s all going to look very different,” said children’s librarian Corey Campbell.  “We have some changes coinciding with that for how children’s cards are handled.”

Children will be able to take their library cards with them rather than leaving them at the library to encourage them to use the facility often.

Campbell said, now that families feel more comfortable coming into the library post-COVID, he expects they will start seeing large story time crowds.  And, patrons will see different ways they use the floor compared to the past.

As more children and families have returned, Campbell said they stay longer to use the library for playing and socializing.  Some of the changes planned will include redeveloping areas for those uses to move children away from traffic patterns near the elevator and stairs.

“We want to take the use of that space and give it a more appropriate home,” Campbell said.

Picture books will move to where non-fiction is currently located in the children’s library.  The southeast corner of the floor, which is banded by a row of windows, will become a large area for activities.  This is the area that will receive the new furniture.

“We’re going to have this large open space,” Campbell said.  “It came out of a plan to have a space that was a little bit safer.  Giving that some focus was really the most important part of it.”

The grant for the furniture came from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation’s Youth Engaged in Philanthropy. 

“We’ve had a really great history of working with them and have had our projects funded the past few years by them,” Campbell said. 

• See the complete story in the Friday, Jan. 13 print edition of the Clinton Journal, available at various locations, or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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