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Donations help make library changes

February 21, 2011

To add to the new changes, the Lions Club generously donated a check to the Punxsutawney Memorial Library. (From left) Bill Depp-Hutchinson, group member; Oren Sallack, President; Coral Ellshoff, Library Director and Jay Barnoff, Zone Chamberman were present Monday. (Photo by Jennifer Barr/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — As times are advancing, the Punxsutawney Memorial Library is not one to be left behind.

Monday at the Library, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club and the Friends of the Library all showed their support of the up-and-coming changes that are being made to the library by contributing donations.

Coral Ellshoff, director, has many new and exciting plans for the library, as she has been working on not only the ideas, but also a floor plan.

For kids, the library will be just like walking into their own world, where they can meet new friends, engage in conversation or read their favorite book.

Currently, there are many events that are being added to the library for all ages. Story hour, which takes place every Monday, is for ages three to five, and after-school recess, which is held Thursday, is for ages seven through 11. While the new events are getting much attention, Ellshoff knows they need more space to hold the kids.

The bookshelves, dating back to 1974, remind Ellshoff of walking through a tunnel.
However, as the shelves line the walls, they will take on much more flowing pattern, thanks to the free-standing mobile shelves.

As the library transforms into a place to get away and snuggle with a book or talk and laugh with friends, all the shelving will be moved to the outside walls, and the furniture will disappear from the center, to allow more space for the children in the area.

“By opening up more space, I am counting on kids and their parents to make use and contribute to it,” Ellshoff said.

With the shelving placed around the outside, there will continue to be two carts on a lower level for the children to browse through books. Ellshoff found that this was a way that the kids could look through the books at their own height.

Ellshoff has designed the children’s area to take on a coffeehouse atmosphere, with two big, comfy chairs and a coffee table.

Along with the new furniture that will attract many children to the space, there will also be an art exhibit in the first nook for all to view.

The first exhibit displayed will be art by a local high school student.

Ellshoff plans to have children’s artwork on display as well.

Among the many books that will be lining the walls of the improved kids section, there will also continue to be a computer just for the kids to use, which contains pre-loaded games that they may enjoy.

While Ellshoff is keeping the children of the library in mind for the new renovations, she has not forgotten about the rest of the sections.

She envisions the large-print section to be much more expansive, allowing the shelving to be lower and easier to browse.

As much still needs to be done, many of the new items will not be arriving until the end of March. However, after everything settles into its new place, there will be an open house conducted in mid-April for all to view the changes.

While there is much that can be done to make the library more accessible and fun to use, funds limit the ability to carry all plans out. However as shown by the generous donations, the community has not forgotten about the library.

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