By CHRIS EBERHART
The Eastchester Children’s library is about to undergo a $45,000 renovation.
Tracey Wright, director of the Eastchester Public Library, said the library was looking to “spruce up the children’s room” by adding new carpets, ceiling tiles, LED lighting and a second children’s computer.
“We think the library is so important for the community,” Wright said. “We have 600 kids in our summer reading game, so we know how popular we are, and we wanted to create an upbeat environment that welcomes the kids to the library.”
Wright said the project idea started in the spring, when the library created designs for a canopy-like structure behind the computer desk Shortly thereafter, Wright said, the library received funding in the amount of $15,000 from the town to replace the carpet.
“We were excited after we received the funding, and that’s when the Friend’s [of the Eastchester Public Library] decided to go all out,” Wright said. “We never expected to replace the whole ceiling, just add the LED lights. But, over the years, we had so many leaks, and it was in terrible condition, so we decided to go for it and renovate the whole room.”
Robert Cartolano, president of the Eastchester Library board, said the new, state-of-the-art LED lights are not to be overlooked as they will not only save the library on electricity and maintenance, but they will brighten the children’s room and make it “more lively and kid-friendly.”
Wright said she hopes to begin the renovation project in early January and finish later in the month or sometime around Valentine’s Day.W hile work is done in the children’s room, she said, the playroom, along with some of the books, will be moved to the auditorium downstairs, but the staff will still have full access to the children’s library collection.
All the renovation plans—the ceiling, lights, rug and second children’s computer—will cost the library $45,000, all of which, except for the $15,000 from the town, will be paid for by fundraisers and donations.
Cartolano gave examples of fundraisers.
He said the library hosted a fair, where parents and children raised money through activities such as sand art and children’s performances such as singing and magic shows and a wine and cheese fundraiser, which made money through admissions.
In addition to the library fair and wine and cheese night, Cartolano said Friends of the Eastchester Public Library donated all their proceeds from their annual tag sale to children’s library renovations.
Wright said, the project was also funded by private donors such as Keller Williams Realty, who held a masquerade ball around Halloween and donated all of the proceeds to the children’s library renovations.And Wells Fargo donated $10,000 for computer programming for the new children’s computer.
Even with all the donations and fundraising events, Wright said the library is still about $5,000 short of its goal. She said, if the library is able to raise more money, it will purchase new desks for the librarians at the reference desk, which haven’t been replaced since the library opened in 1967, and buy new furniture for the children’s room.
She said they still are accepting donations in the library and are planning another wine and cheese night for May.