Young readers visiting the Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library are now being greeted by a colorful door and a wall full of cartoon characters.
After four months, renovations to the children’s center at the library are complete. The addition makes the area safer, while providing a space for children to call their own.
“The reason we did it because we wanted to add to the area,” said Barbara Gough, the director of the library.
Before adding the wall and door to the children’s center, the space was open, with only a bookshelf separating the space from other sections in the library and the entrance. Library staff also had to watch for children running out of the building, so creating a space just for them was one way to address the issue.
Emma Boyd, associate director of public services at the library, said she has seen more kids use the library since the space was renovated. The new space is more engaging, and when kids recognize characters on the wall, that helps them choose a book based on those characters.
“They have their own area when they come to the library,” Boyd said.
The center also features an area where kids can check out DVDs. The section is more kid-friendly because children can browse for DVDs themselves, picking out films they like, Boyd said.
Sylvia Cobbs, who has worked at the library for 28 years, welcomes the new addition, as it's something she's been wanting for a long time. She enjoys seeing the cartoon characters, especially her favorite, Scooby-Doo.
Gough noted that the the center's construction was done in-house, with staff member Alfonso Wilson doing the work.
Looking ahead, the library plans to expand its parking and also increase study space for its patrons. Gough hopes the ongoing improvements will encourage visitors to take advantage of the services the library offers.
“A lot of good is happening at the library,” Gough said.