March 5, 2009 in Idaho Voices

A place to learn and relax

Larger modern space filled with stories for everyone at new Liberty Lake facility
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The Liberty Lake Library is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Web site is http://www.libertylakewa.gov/library/. Call (509) 232-2510.

The children’s area of the new Liberty Lake Library bustled with activity on Monday, the library’s first day open in its new location at 23123 E. Mission Ave. Some children played with toys while others sat in chairs just their size, flipping through books.

Chris Carlsen had brought her children to the library’s baby lap-sit session and to pick up some books. “I really like it,” she said of the new site. “I like that the adults’ and kids’ sections are together now so I can browse while they browse.”

The old library was in two separate rooms and space was at a premium. There was nowhere to sit. There weren’t even enough shelves for all the books. The new library, however, has plenty of shelves and is dotted with tables and plush chairs just begging to be sunk into with a good book. One small girl found a nontraditional way to use the bean bag chairs in the children’s section, repeatedly getting a running start before taking a flying leap onto the soft landing pad. Her merriment had to come to a stop, however, when it was noticed by an adult.

Janelle Sordelet is a regular at the library’s lap-sit sessions even though she lives in Greenacres. “I used to go to the Valley (library) and I prefer coming here,” she said. “I love the new space because it’s modern and new and clean.”

She loved the many new seating options and the way the library is organized. “I could even come here and get away from the family,” she said.

Her 5-year-old son, Caleb, was eagerly browsing the shelves after attending the lap-sit with his 14-month-old sister. “He loves treehouse stories,” she said. “He absolutely loves the library.”

He asked children’s library associate Amy Dickeson if there were other books he could read in the main library. She pointed out the young reader section and mentioned there were books on dinosaurs. “Dinosaurs?” he said, his face brightening as he followed her to the proper section. A few short minutes later he presented his mom with a new pile of books to be checked out. “She helped me pick out some dinosaur books,” he said.

Dickeson said she loves the new children’s area. “It’s spacious,” she said. “It’s just wonderful to be able to spread out.”

The library’s first day of business had a few technical problems, but otherwise everything went smoothly, said Director Pamela Mogen. “All the technical stuff is glitching, just about, but check-in and check-out are fine.”

The library shut down last week to get everything moved over. Everything looks finished, except for the empty meeting room. Mogen is awaiting word on a grant to furnish the room. The only other part of the library not finished is Mogen’s office. Stuffed boxes are stacked in a corner and she works at a desk barely big enough to hold her computer monitor and phone. Her real desk was delivered Monday, but “it arrived all scratched up,” she said.

The library’s new space isn’t all inside, either. On Monday morning nearly a dozen cars sat comfortably in the library’s partially full parking lot, a number that would have overwhelmed the number of parking spots the old library had. Now the library doesn’t have to worry about patrons taking the parking spots of neighboring businesses.

“We’ve actually got parking,” Mogen said.

Nina Culver can be reached at (509) 927-2158 or via e-mail at ninac@spokesman.com.

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