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Sycamore library to celebrate renovations with open house

Published: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – After almost six months of paint jobs, rearranging furniture and building out new sections, the Sycamore Public Library is ready to officially unveil its new look.

The library will host an open house celebration Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. that will feature activities for children such as balloon animals and face painting, karaoke in the new Teen Zone, refreshments including a chocolate fountain, and tours of the improved facility to explain new features and sections.

“Everyone has been really pleased,” said Sarah Tobias, executive director of the library. “It looks so much more spacious and people wonder how we pulled that off without adding more square footage.”

The renovations, which started in mid-April, were completed in phases starting with improvements to the children and teen areas, followed by moving the reference desk near the entrance and ending with an overhaul of the second floor.

As areas opened, Tobias said it did not take long to see that the improvements would provide more opportunities for expanded programming as library staff had hoped. She said a special children’s event in August attracted more than 200 people, and the Toddler Time sessions every Tuesday bring in between 55 to 70 people every week.

“We’ll be able to do more things with some of the spaces and add more programs for all ages,” Tobias said.

To put the finishing touches on the renovations, the library will hold a fundraiser Sunday and during Pumpkin Fest to purchase new furniture. Tobias said staff noticed chairs were in bad condition during the project and want to purchase more comfortable, cleanable chairs.

Cardboard chairs will serve as donation boxes during the open house, and a zombie miniature golf event will take place during Pumpkin Fest to raise money.

Tobias said she is happy to see the final product and was glad the library only had to close six days during the entire project.

“We’re just excited for everyone to come out and see the library,” she said.

The project was funded through $444,000 in grants and impact fee and reserve revenues. A $478,100 loan also allowed the library to secure a lower interest rate on some existing debt.

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