Huxley Library enjoys a facelift for children’s area

Lynn Marr-Moore
Huxley Library enjoys a facelift for children’s area

Back in November of 1972, the first public library opened its doors in Huxley. The location…the basement of the then Huxley City Hall. March of 1987 saw a move to the Ballard Plaza.

Three years later, yet another move was made to the Huxley Professional Building in March of 1990.

One more move to the present location on the top floor of the new 3C’s Building was made in February of 2003.

Lots of moves, lots of changes.

One area which continued to grow out of the space provided was that of the Children’s Library.

“This is a dream come true,” tells Program Director Cathy Van Maanen. “We needed to have some of the furniture replaced, we had bookshelves where the children could not reach the books, so we decided to make the area, which includes the children’s seating theater, repurposed.”

On February 4, 2010, at precisely 12:57 p.m., the library officially checked out the one millionth item.

When the doors opened on the first Huxley Library back in 1972, there were 200 books and 170 patrons. Now there are 30,000 items and 3,000 patrons.

The facelift to the children’s area began with financial backing from a Monsanto grant, which was used to purchase new shelves so that the children could actually reach the books on them. The shelves were built by Iowa Prison Industry. The old shelves have been repurposed and now serve as housing for adult and young adult fiction.

The children’s seating theater was repurposed by a grant from Kreg Cares, from the Huxley-based business Kreg Tools. Kreg Tools employees dismantled the seating area, removed it from the library, repurposed it and brought it back. Luke Brothers then put new carpeting on the seating area. The area not only holds children and parents for activities and reading time, but also can hold puppets, movies and audio books as well.

Van Maanen acknowledged and thanked all the volunteers who helped through this remodel, and the board of library trustees for their ongoing support.

“The revitalized area provides for more play space, and with the summer reading program up and going, we really needed the space,” said Van Maanen.