City news — With final touches in place, grand opening planned for Saturday

What has been a construction zone for months has finally been transformed into a bright, bustling area full of children, reading and laughter. With the final shipment of furniture the new children’s library at the Newberg Public Library is ready for its debut.

“We’re just thrilled,” said Library Director Leah Griffith. “We’ve been joking that this week we’re putting on our lipstick and earrings, we’re putting on our bling, we’re finally putting on our party clothes for the big day.”by: GARY ALLEN - Celebration - A pair of youths take advantage of the new children's library Friday in Newberg. A grand-opening for the much anticipated facility is set for Saturday.

The big day has been slated for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and although getting everything completed on time has been a struggle, Griffith said they couldn’t be happier with the result.

“It’s been fun watching kids’ eyes light up (when they see the new space),” she said.

The expansion and remodel included adding 1,600 square feet to the children’s space, tables, chairs and lots of color.

“We didn’t want this to look like the rest of the library, we didn’t want it to look like an adult area,” she said. “For years people would come in and ask, ‘where are adult books?’ because it didn’t look like a kids area. We know people won’t have that mix-up now.”

Aside from the space truly being a children’s library, the expansion included adding a family bathroom and planning for future expansion with additional shelves.

“We did buy some additional shelving to expand but the shelves have dividers instead of bookends, so we have a lot more space to grow just within the collection itself,” Griffith said. “Before these shelves were so full in the old area we could hardly get a book out. It’s just wonderful to have the ability to browse a little bit, we’re happy with that.”

With the final books being shelved, the big day is quickly arriving. Griffith said it’ll be a big party.

“We’ll have kind of a ribbon cutting or balloon cutting, we’re still putting that together, but it’ll basically be a big open house,” she said. “One of the things that will be great fun is we’ll have a photo booth.”

The booth will include various props so children can dress up like their favorite characters, or anything they like.

“The wondrousness of it is it will print out a nice strip of pictures that will be the perfect bookmark you and your family can enjoy. It’ll have the library logo on it so it will be a wonderful souvenir of the event,” Griffith said. “I think that’s going to be so much fun and I think people will enjoy that tremendously.”

She added that with the children’s library completed, new projects come to mind.

“We’re kind of in that mode where we’re making improvements; eventually we’ll improve the circulation area,” she said. “But the staff asked (if we can) have a little time before construction, and I said, `Oh yeah were not going to disrupt the entire check-out area of the library for a while, it will be a huge thing when we do it.’”

For now, she said she’s content with the tremendous finish of the space and looks forward to taking a break after the party.

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