Fulton Public Library Children's Room Renovations
Received funds for the renovation of its Children's Room.
The children’s room at the Fulton Public Library has reopened after being closed for a month due to renovations.
Multiple updates were made in the children’s room, according to Library Director Caroline Chatterton.
“We were updating pretty much everything,” Chatterton said. “It hadn’t had work (done) in a lot of years and so we really wanted to make it a more bright, more lively and welcoming environment. So we replaced the carpet with a new carpet, we repainted the walls, they’re a bright white now, and we replaced a lot of the shelving with more durable, mobile bookshelves that are easier for patrons to access and for kids to access. And then we also added a few fun things and some furniture for parents and caregivers to sit at.”
The idea for renovations came about two years ago, according to Chatterton. The library spent a year on fundraising and planning, and then the project was delayed due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. The new furniture and bookshelves that the library had ordered took about 16 weeks to be produced.
Chatterton said that when it came to fundraising, the community was generous. The renovations were made possible by donations and grants from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, the Fulton Elks Lodge, the Garrett Dunsmoor Memorial Foundation and other private community members. The renovations have improved the library’s visual component while making library materials more accessible to patrons, according to Chatterton.
“The new bookshelves, they’re shorter and they’re easier to access,” Chatterton said. “We have these great new browser boxes that actually have drawers that pull out on the bottom for children to browse, as the name indicates. So actual access to materials has been improved with these renovations.”
The bookshelves were also updated to match the logo of the Fulton Public Library, displaying red and yellow on the shelving. The library also received funds for its makerspace and has plans to host some STEAM events for children.
“We did get funds for our makerspace and we want to start having STEAM Saturdays because we have some coding materials, we’ve got a solar powered cockroach kit we want to do, we bought a sewing machine,” Chatterton said. “So I think that also part of the renovation is making a space where we can have more engagement and learning and education. That’s a big part of it too.”
Patrons are excited about the updated children’s room, Chatterton mentioned.
“People are just blown away,” Chatterton said. “They keep telling me it’s like they’re walking into a whole different room. They love it, they love the aesthetic and how bright it is.”
The renovations come just in time for the library’s upcoming summer reading program, which strives to encourage children to continue reading throughout the summer to prevent losing reading skills. The program has two components, incentivized reading and events. Children can commit to meeting a reading goal every week during the summer to be entered into a raffle for prizes and will also have the opportunity to attend fun and educational events.
“They commit to reading so many books or so many minutes every week and then they log their reading and at the end of the summer we do a raffle of some prizes,” Chatterton said. “We have some great prizes. This year’s theme is ‘oceans of possibilities,’ so we’ve got a couple of passes to Seabreeze and Thunder Island. We’re going to be raffling off like an aquarium setup from a local store, and a couple of other things, and so that’s the big part of it.”
Chatterton said that the children’s room renovations have sparked interest in remodeling other areas of the library in the future.
“It’s kind of been a catalyst, you know, now that we see how good it can look downstairs, we have thought about doing a similar remodel of the upstairs, but of course that would be further in the future for sure,” Chatterton said. “We always try to keep in mind and maintain the historical integrity of the building as well, that’s always a challenge to doing projects like these in a building that’s over 125 years old.”
The library hosted a reopening celebration on Thursday.
“We wanted to get the children’s room open as soon as possible, but we also wanted to plan just a little bit of a bigger celebration, so that’s what this event (was) on (June 9) … our big celebration commemorating the opening of our newly renovated room,” Chatterton said. “(We had) different stations where attendees can do crafts or get their face painted. We (had) Jeff the Magic Man … to do some balloon animals, there (was) music and of course checking out the space, checking out books, maybe playing with our makerspace.”