120 children and many adult guests gathered in the newly expanded Okanagan Regional Library Rutland Branch in Plaza 33 Mall Thursday morning to celebrate the library’s addition and kick off Summer Reading Club. Special performer “Ronald McDonald” entertained the children with readings and songs in the new kids area, which encompasses part of the 4,000 extra square feet of the library.
“It’s so nice that there is actually room to do things like this”, said Rutland resident and library page Andrew Fredrick. “Before, it seemed like there was only space for about 20 kids and now there are 120 here comfortably.”
Summer Reading Club registration at the Rutland library has topped over 400 children.
Andrew’s mother, Rhonda, added, “I’ve lived my life here and it’s wonderful that Rutland is starting to bloom. The addition to the library feels roomy and it’s great to have the kids’ section away from quiet study areas and the Internet stations.”
The expanded space also includes a teens’ area and a community meeting room. Furniture in the extra areas were purchased thanks to proceeds from the Dick and Jean Hall Funds held at the Central Okanagan Foundation.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Bruce Davies, was on hand to visit the renovations and said, “It’s wonderful to see the legacy of the Halls’ philanthropy living on to support literacy and helping youth in the Rutland area.”
Also in attendance were City of Kelowna Councillor and ORL Board member Tracy Gray, representatives from Al Stober construction who completed the expansion, Kelowna Friends of the Library volunteers, and the Uptown Rutland Business Association.
“This library has truly been transformed and I’m delighted to see so many children and others using the space,” said the ORL’s CEO, Stephanie Hall. “We are so thankful to all of the staff at the Rutland branch, especially Community Librarian Sheila Coe, for their hard work and dedication in making this happen.”
Information about the ORL’s Rutland branch programs and hours can be seen at www.orl.bc.ca/branches/rutland or by calling the library at 250-765-8165.