Library Director Shaney T. Livingston welcomed the crowd of approximately 150 library board members, local dignitaries and area residents to see Newberry Branch’s beautifully expanded, well-stocked library. The celebration marked the completion of the renovation and addition of 3,200 sq. ft. which doubled the size of the library. The program featured speakers, a check presentation and ribbon cutting followed by library tours, fun activities and a reception.
Chair Alachua County Library District Foundation Hunt Davis, Jr. presented Director Livingston a $50,000 check which provided funding for the new Teen Space and Snuggle Up Center. Also, Friends of the Library provided funding for the quiet reading room. These organizations help the Library District satisfy the growing demand for access to resources, educational programs and entertainment for all ages.”
Newberry Branch is the sixth Snuggle Up Center and fourth Teen Space funded by the ACLD Foundation. Last year, ACLD Foundation funded these additions at the Library Partnership and in 2013 at the Cone Park Branch. These areas are designed and equipped to provide inviting spaces and age appropriate resources for learning, relaxing and bonding. Snuggle UP Centers feature inviting spaces for families to snuggle up and read, bond and learn together while providing parenting information, booklists and Early Learning computers and programs for young children. Teen Spaces provide teens with a place of their own to gather for reading, studying, gaming and other engaging, educational activities.
“The Foundation raises funds in order to provide supplemental funding to the Library District,” said the Chair of the ACLD Foundation Hunt Davis, Jr. “It is exciting to see our funding help build these inviting Snuggle Up Centers and Teen Spaces that expand and enhance library services for our youth. The Foundation is fortunate to work within a community that supports our funding raising efforts. We thank our contributors who help us grow one of the best library systems in the state.”
After check presentation and ribbon cutting, library visitors enjoyed exploring the new additions featuring space for an additional 1,200 books in the library’s collection and more space for private computer arrangements and two additional computer stations. Some were very excited to see the quiet reading room added for a place to enjoy reading, studying and working. A new bronze statue of children reading in the room was generously funded by the Friends of the Library. All ages explored the children’s area and Snuggle Up Center with its “Down on the Farm” design by Themeworks of High Springs. A tractor with a goat riding on top cleverly houses two Early Learning computers. The colorful furniture and room décor accentuate the farm theme. Two new study rooms and a dynamic teen room are other highlights. Many regular library visitors were excited to see their library expanded to provide much needed spaces and places designed for children, teens and adults to read, study, learn and play.
Other guests included Iron Man and Spider Man courtesy of Capes & Tiaras entertainment service and little Miss National Supreme Beauty Miss Heart of the USA. Families also enjoyed face painting, balloon art and a chance to see goats up close courtesy of Whiteacre’s Dairy Goats farm.
The Newberry/Jonesville Chamber of Commerce, community businesses and organizations contributed goods and services including koozie cups from Oelrich Construction and Campus USA Credit Union. The Library District provided souvenir bookmarks to mark the occasion. The Newberry Garden Club donated flower arrangements.