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Holley library makes kid-friendly space and play stations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 February 2016 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Sandra Shaw, director of the Community Free Library in Holley, holds one of the new puppets at the library’s puppet theatre. The puppets can be borrowed by patrons.

The library has added a puppet theatre, dress-up station, tool bench, veterinary clinic and other stations for children to play that are free of electronics.

Before George Maziarz retired on Dec. 31, 2014, the state senator directed $6,300 to the library in Holley. The library has used those funds for its children’s library, creating a more inviting space with fun things for children, Shaw said.

“Everything now is electronic,” Shaw said at the library in the Public Square. “We’re trying to get the to use their imagination.”

This toy kitchen is part of the new play stations in the Children’s Room at the library. The kitchen has shopping carts, plastic food and dishes.

If children are worried about an sick stuffed animal, they can take it to Doc McStuffin’s Veterinary Clinic.

“Play is the work of children,” Shaw said. “There are lots of studies being published showing the relationship between opportunities for play and the development of reading and learning skills. We have books, so we decided to expand the play opportunities for children. They can play, then find books in the library related to what they were playing.”

The costume closet gives children a chance to transform into different characters and roles.

Shaw thanked the library’s board of trustees and their families who came in on a Sunday in January and put the play centers together.

There is more to come. A new castle entrance way, to be created by artist and retired teacher Larry Dabney, will be added as part of the grant funds from Maziarz.

“No longer will they just be walking from one room to another,” Shaw said. “Now they will be entering a world created just for them.”

When the castle is completed, the library plans to have a ribbon-cutting celebration for the community, complete with a puppet show, face painting, and other events.