Now that the addition is complete, I am often asked how Wood Library and its visitors have adapted to its new space since reopening back in February. The answer is one simple word – wonderfully. The new addition with its spacious, bright lobby, new accessible elevator, customer service-oriented Welcome Desk, convenient first-floor meeting rooms, additional handicap restrooms, and popular materials room is more than I could have ever dreamed of. Let me tell you why.
I was extremely pleased when I saw 20 toddlers scattered across the floor with their caregivers in the Mary Parmele Hamlin Meeting Room transforming cardboard boxes into cars complete with racing stripes, license plates, wheels, and stickers before sitting in them for the Toddler Drive-In program.
Over 100 people, including adults and high school students, ventured out on a wintry day to hear Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child, speak about her book as part of Writers & Books’ “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” series.
When Jim Erdle came to talk about his antique tractor collection, the room was almost full to capacity.
Through a partnership between Wood Library and AARP, over 350 senior citizens have had their taxes done at the library to date, with another 100 appointments still to go.
The public response to our new space and programs has been overwhelming to say the least. After these programs, I often want to pinch myself to see if I am indeed dreaming.
Technology has also been taking off at Wood Library in so many ways offering the latest in technology services. In the months of February and March, Ben Lainhart, our Emerging Technologies Librarian, has seen close to 50 people needing help with their digital devices during his Open Tech Hours. In the addition, we have also added a self-checkout machine, allowing patrons to grab their items and go without waiting in lines. With public computer usage climbing (users logged on 1,544 times in February), we have installed four additional computers upstairs.
More comfortable seating and study spaces can be found throughout the building as well. These seats are frequently occupied by teachers tutoring students, business people typing away on laptops, teens devouring the latest fiction, children and their parents sharing a story, or just friends wanting a quiet place to catch up. We are happy to offer this space to everyone in the community.
Thanks to hundreds of donors, Wood Library is now able to fulfill our mission to become a community destination where people are welcome to explore their curiosity and engage in lifelong learning from the library’s many offerings whether it is from a book, website, program, or from one another.
– Jenny Goodemote, Executive Director