Monday, June 24, 2002

Cozy nooks for reading books

Westwood PLCH branch reopens

By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer contributor

        Patrons and personnel at the Westwood Branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County say $1.9 million in renovations, which closed the branch for six months, were worth the wait.

        “My favorite place is the window seats, where you get to sit and curl up with your child in a cubby,” said Westwood resident Mary Herbers, a branch patron for 16 years.

        In addition to cubbies and an expanse of new windows, major renovations include: a 2,000-square-foot addition with a children's room and teen area, a new reference section, new furniture and bookshelves, a new heating and air conditioning system, handicapped accessibility, and a refurbished exterior in keeping with the 1931 Mission style architecture.

        According to library officials, the entire collection has grown by 37 percent, now housing 38,900 books and 3,780 audio visual materials. It is also the first PLCH location to have a comic book section, said branch manager Joyce Baer.

        “The first day we were opened we circulated over 2,100 items. Before, a good day for us would have been around 600,” she said.

        During the closure, patrons were encouraged to use nearby branches but it just wasn't the same, said Mrs. Herbers.

        “It's like going home when you get back to your own library,” she said.


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