FLOYD COUNTY — The Floyd County Library’s children’s department has a fresh, modern look after a remodel of the space.
Last week, the New Albany library reopened the renovated children’s area, which has remained closed for about a year and a half between the COVID-19 shutdown and the remodel.
The area features bright colors with a woodland theme. The walls include murals of trees and animals such as deer and foxes, and the furniture and decorations throughout the room match the theme. Columns are decorated as trees, and clouds and kites are displayed on the ceiling.
The space includes a new playhouse and renovated story-time room as well as a new reading area with rocking chairs that resemble a front porch.
Jeremiah Dixon, facilities coordinator at the library, worked with the library’s building services team and contractors to complete the renovations. The children’s area was previously “very dated,” he said.
“The interior design — it needed some touching up, so we’ve been trying to go through and make it look more modern as far as colors and layout,” he said.
Sandra Fortner, assistant director of library support services, said she is thrilled that the remodeled children’s department has reopened.
“One of the first remarks from a little 5-year-old that came in here was, ‘I love it,’” Fortner said. “I just thought that was the reaction we wanted to get from folks, so I just think that it turned out great, and it’s nice to be back open, because we were missed, and it’s getting a lot of use.”
“We’re excited, and we want kids to come in here and just be able to have a great time and be a kid,” she said.
A collection of children’s books was moved upstairs during the remodel, and the library has also offered curbside service. Despite the temporary closing of the children’s area, the full children’s collection remained available throughout the remodel.
Dixon noted that renovations are continuing on the library’s lower level, including the addition of a new meeting room in the former Indiana Room space. The library’s auditorium was also remodeled this year.
The upper level will soon be re-carpeted, and in November, the library will have new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that will help track and monitor books and other items. The automated technology includes sensors that can check out an entire stack of books at once, which helps with both security and speeding up processes for staff and patrons.
Luis Munoz, marketing coordinator for the Floyd County Library, noted that the children’s area has reopened in time for “Library Card Sign-up Month” in September.
Munoz was one of the staff members who created the colorful murals along the walls of the play area and story-time room in the children’s department — the cutouts of trees and animals.
The new reading area and other features help create a welcoming space, he said.
“I think it kind of brightens up the place a lot more and makes it more inviting,” Munoz said. “We wanted to create a space where people feel comfortable where they can relax, and we literally created a home away from home.”
The library will soon announce plans for a grand opening ceremony, Munoz said.
Ashley Martin, children’s librarian at the Floyd County Library, said the children’s area was still closed when she started working there, and she is excited to finally be working in the space.
“I think it looks amazing, and I think it fits the children of the community really well,” she said. “They’ve been really excited to come in and see everything that’s new. It’s great.”