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Future Library Children's Area
6/10/2006 - Ken Dahl, Cottage Grove Economic Development Corporation
New Library Will Contain Large Children's Area By Lisa Selje, Interim Library Director

The Cottage Grove Library Board and its Facilities Committee are continuing their work to finalize the site of the new library and obtain a preliminary drawing of the building. We want to keep the community informed of our progress and have planned several articles about our Program Statement so that everyone can learn about what will be included and provided in this wonderful, new facility. This article will focus on the Children's Area of the Cottage Grove Community Library.

Due to the large number of young families and the many children in Cottage Grove, we are planning a large, full-service Children's department. In past surveys, community members have voiced their strong support for a local library to serve our young people. The main Children's Area of the library, which will serve infants through first graders, will be a bright, friendly and inviting place. This 2,400-square-foot open area will include board books, picture books, children's non-fiction books, easy readers, and children's movies, CDs and computer software. There will also be children's magazines, audio books, multimedia kits, and toys. We are planning to have computers, a parent resource area, a play area with toys and learning games and a family restroom with a changing table. There will be plenty of areas for children and their parents to sit together.

Adjacent to the Children's Area will be a 550-square-foot Story Hour Room designed to accommodate up to 20 children for special programming. This room will have a low counter along one wall for children to stand and do crafts and other projects. There will be a sink for easy clean-up and plenty of storage for supplies. Room for a possible built-in (or portable) puppet stage will be provided, as well as coat hooks, bulletin boards and other tackable surfaces. Preschool story hour will be held in this room, along with infant and toddler story times and other programs we plan once the library is open.

To serve older children, there will be a Juvenile Area for students in grades 1-6, and a Teen Area for middle and high school students. Seating will be appropriate for the age group and include a comfortable lounge, study carrels, tables and chairs, and booths. Collections will include books, magazines and non-print materials. There will also be small study rooms available for individual or small group use. We will have programs, both educational and entertaining, for all ages. We hope to have a Teen Advisory Board so teens can have input on the materials and programs they would like to see at the library. Our goal is for the new library to foster a sense of community in Cottage Grove and to serve as a resource for everyone, whether it is a place to do homework after school, find a good book for leisure reading, pick out a movie, or just hang out. Stay tuned for more articles that will further describe the library. If fundraising efforts are successful, the Cottage Grove Community Library should open in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Book Mobile will continue to visit Cottage Grove on Wednesdays from 4:30-8:00 p.m. in the Marketplace Shopping Center parking lot.

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