Saturday February 17th, the Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library had its grand re-opening to unveil their much anticipated renovations. The library now features a main entrance in the back parking lot to welcome keen readers and researchers, making the building easier to access and more inviting. While the library has been re-opened for several weeks now, dozens of people showed up in support of the official day. As I walked through the new entrance, I wasn’t prepared for the amazing changes that had occurred.

The front of the library, which seemed a bit crowded and small before, is now an open area of computers and tables. They took the space that once occupied the children’s room and turned it into an inviting place to make use of the computers or have an open place to study or read. The small community library that once felt outdated has evolved, as if overnight, into a spacious center for learning and enjoyment. Speaking of enjoyment, the main attraction to this renovation has to be the new children’s room.

As I approached the re-mastered room, I noticed something odd straight away. There are two doorways! One door for kids and another for adults! I spoke with Brenda Taylor-Gellner, head of the children’s library, and she said that she enjoys the doorway the most. When asked why she said, “The doorway is my favorite because it draws children to it, and then we can get them hooked on books!” Starting to build a passion for reading begins at an early age. It’s important to use colorful visual aids to make kids want to be involved.

All of the craziness of renovating was worth it when we saw the faces of the children seeing it for the first time.

My good friend Charley Jacobsen works as the assistant children’s librarian. I asked her what she enjoys most about the remodel. After deep contemplations she replied, “I would probably have to say the program and play room. Before the remodel we had all of the children’s programs downstairs. With the new space, we can keep all of the activities centralized. Having them up here also encourages them to interact with the collection of books in the room.” She continued by saying, “We feel that it’s our job in the young reader’s room to encourage children to be life-long readers and learners, and hope that our new space can play a part in that mission. All of the craziness of renovating was worth it when we saw the faces of the children seeing it for the first time.” The children’s library also has comfy window seats and a Lego wall area for building and learning.

If you have always loved the Parkersburg and Wood County public library, then you’ll love it even more now. If for some reason you’ve been skeptical or have never visited, now is your chance. There is space for everyone and a kind, smiling employee to help direct you where you need to go. Please visit their website to stay up to date on programs and events!