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Holley library opens World of Discovery center for children

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 13 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – The impressive and inviting entrance to the new “World of Discovery” at the library in Holley was created by Laurence Dabney, a local artist and retired Holley Central art teacher.

Young patrons of the Community Free Library in Holley now officially have their own “World of Discovery” children’s section that expands opportunities for play. Those opportunities assist with the development of reading and learning skills, Library Director Sandra Shaw said during a ribbon cutting held Saturday morning to celebrate the changes.

“They learn how to play and from that they learn how to read,” she noted of young children.

Former State Sen. George Maziarz and Assemblyman Steve Hawley get lots of help in cutting the ribbon for the new World of Discovery for young patrons at the Community Free Library in Holley. Before the ribbon cutting, the young lady in the turquoise leggings sitting on the floor remarked: “This place is perfect for a princess like me!”

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and former State Senator George Maziarz join Holley Community Free Library Director Sandra Shaw for this morning’s grand opening of the library’s new World of Discovery for children.

The World of Discovery includes a castle entrance to the children’s section and a special play room area that now includes a large puppet theater, family and community helper puppets, children’s kitchen, Doc McStuffin’s Veterinary Clinic, Black & Decker building center and a costume cabinet.

Maziarz secured state grant funding of $6,300 about 18 months ago, Shaw explained.

“After we scraped our jaws off the floor, we thought about using the funds to improve the children’s section,” Shaw said. She noted Maziarz is a “proponent of children’s education and welfare.”

Maziarz attended the ribbon cutting. Maziarz noted it is important to reach out to children, “while they are young,” and explained that he and his eight brothers spent much time while growing up at their local library in North Tonawanda. “I have a long-time affinity for libraries,” he said. “I recently became a grandfather for the first time, so I’m all for enhancing programs for children.”

State Senator Robert Ortt was unable to attend due to a previous commitment.

Assemblyman Hawley said he was happy to be re-united with Maziarz for the event, and explained that the former state senator is staying very active in retirement.

“I see home all the time, all over the State of New York,” Hawley said. He acknowledged the work done by Maziarz to obtain the grant funds. “We need to thank him for the money he got a number of years ago,” Hawley said.

The celebration included refreshments and activities throughout the library, including face-painting, balloons, and crown-making. Many of the young patrons came dressed in costumes as knights, princesses and dragons – befitting the castle theme of the World of Discovery.

Michelle Vroblefski brought her family from Brockport. “This is great,” she said. “We will visit more often.”

Families enjoy crafts and activities Saturday morning at the Community Free Library. The festivities were part of a ribbon cutting celebration for the new children’s World of Discovery.

Four-year old Helen Schofield works to complete a crown during activities Saturday morning at the Community Free Library.