Letters to the Editor: August 23 – 29, 2018
New Lower Level Children’s Library Will be Bright, Cheerful
This responds to two recent letters from readers expressing concerns over our plan to relocate children’s and teens’ activities to an expanded, refurbished lower level in the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, which is soon to be renovated. We appreciate their comments and will soon request additional feedback.
Our future children’s and teens’ floor, or lower level, will be nothing like it is today. Window light will brighten the space through windows along its south and east walls. And, because the floor will be devoted to young people, we’ll be able to use lower bookshelves, bright, colorful patterns and specially designed furniture to enliven the space and make it “theirs.” The new children’s and teens’ space, which will be triple the size of our existing space, will be light-filled and cheerful.
In addition, the new space — given that it will be dedicated to children and teenagers — will give our librarians much better “situational awareness” than today. Our staff will be able to keep a watchful, friendly eye on any adults in the space who have no known connection to the children there. This is one of several public safety benefits pointed out by Falls Church’s chief of police and fire marshal.
We will soon be able to provide you with preliminary drawings which will depict initial layouts and ideas for both levels of the library, and at that point we’d like you to weigh in again and let us know what you think. The design of the building will continue to evolve as we receive subsequent feedback from the public and the architect creates more detailed drawings.
A slide presentation is available on our website, www.fallschurchva.gov/LibraryProject. Meanwhile, drop by the library — we’ll share with you photos from other public libraries in which children’s activities occur on a lower level. They’re an exciting glance at what we plan to achieve.
Bradley E. Gernand
Chairman, Mary Riley Styles Public Library Board of Trustees
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