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Children’s Library Closing for Renovations on Friday

Sue Piel, Director of the Woodbury Public Library, holds up a mock sign for the children’s library, which will be renamed to honor benefactor Jack Naylor after renovations are completed in September.

WOODBURY – Take out what you’d like from the children’s library and enjoy it for a while, because it will be closing at 5 p.m. Friday for three weeks as it undergoes renovations.

Sue Piel, the Director of the Woodbury Public Library, said the renovation will include new paint, new carpeting, shelving, furniture and wall décor, and will not cost the town one dime.

That’s because back in 2008, Jack Naylor passed away and left the library $50,000 for renovations to the children’s library. The money has since sat in the Connecticut Community Foundation as the library decided what to do with it. With interest, the amount has grown to $77,000.

“We decided that we’re not going to get a new library in the near future, so why don’t we fix what we have,” Piel said. “He and his wife didn’t have any children of their own, and he wanted to do something for the children of Woodbury.”

The children’s library will be re-named in Naylor’s honor, Piel said.

Though the children’s library is handicap accessible under ADA requirements, it’s not an easy space to move around in. The idea is to make the library more multi-purpose as well.

Most of the stacks will remain, but will be reconfigured. Bulky-adult-size furniture and round tables will be replaced with kid-friendly square furnishings that can be easily moved and stacked to accommodate more programs.

Here’s a look at some of the color swatches that have been chosen for the upcoming renovation of the children’s library.

What color will the walls be? That depends on where you are in the children’s library, Head Children’s Librarian Bonnie Knapik said. There will be a few themes going on, including a meadow theme for one of the reading areas. Existing crats will also be repainted in bright, fun colors, she said.

The computers will be moved to a more centralized spot close to the front desk, where DVDs are now kept. All the computers will be together, and not scattered around.

“We needed a little more flexibility,” Knapik said.

And though the reconfigured children’s library will be wide open and airier, it will still be able to contain its collection of 30,000 pieces.

This will be the second of what could be three renovations the Woodbury Public Library building in 2017. Earlier this year, the roof was replaced. In September, around the same time the children’s library renovation concludes, work is expected to start on community room renovations.

While Piel is certain the children’s library will have a soft opening on Sept. 11, she’s not sure how long the community renovation will take.

The community room renovation will involve removing of a steel beam in the ceiling and posts that cause obstructed views at readings and lectures. The flooring and walls will also be redone, and an AV system will be placed in the cart, eliminating the need for a clunky projector cart.

Bids for that project were due of August 14.

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