BIG NEWS for library lovers!
Joel D. Valdez Main Library in Downtown Tucson just received a grant to overhaul and renovate their children’s area.
The $57,800 grant for the Grow and Play Space at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library is funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records.
The 9,000 sq ft children’s room will stay in its current location- the southeast corner of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library’s (101 N. Stone Avenue) 1st floor. BUT the plan is to “open the room up and shift things around quite a bit,” according to Caitlin Burns, Supervising Librarian and Children’s Services Manager.
The LSTA funds will mostly be spent on new technology, play areas, and some furniture. The cost of cosmetic upgrades (like new flooring and paint) will be paid for by Pima County. New additions that the library is planning on purchasing include bilingual Early Literacy Stations for early learners (ages 2-8), Afterschool Edge learning stations for elementary school kids (ages 6-12), tablets, and hands-on play and imagination stations.
By purchasing new technology, the Library hopes to encourage young learners and their caregivers to experience technology together in a supportive, educational environment. Tactile play areas like discovery tables with rotating activities will help build creative thinking and social skills beyond home and school.
The children’s room at Main Library has never undergone a renovation…so this is truly exciting news! The Main Library opened in its current location in 1990 and the Children’s Room has remained largely the same. The new grant funds need to be spent by the summer of 2018 so watch for improvements in the coming months.
We can’t wait to see the “after” photos of this project. In the meantime, we’ve included several “before” photos in this post to inspire you to take a trip downtown with your kids.
Have you ever been to the Main Library? If not, what would compel you to do so?