April 22, 2024
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Paramus Library Reopens After Renovations

The Paramus Public Library reopened for patron use in April of 2017 after nine months of renovations.

The need for change was talked about for years before the renovation. According to public relations representative Donna Perkosky, numerous surveys have been sent out to community members over the years in order to get a sense of what people were looking for in their library. Back in 2007, a referendum to build a new library was defeated 2-1, so the library continued to collect feedback from patrons.

“We knew what people hoped to see changed,” she said.

The library’s director, Leonard Lopinto. is confident the library will continue to serve it’s community, and considers it “a huge success.” He credits the borough of Paramus and the local council for their help in making the idea a reality.

Some of the biggest changes include a much more tech-friendly environment. The library added more electrical outlets for people to charge their computers and other devices. Before the renovation, there were few outlets located on support poles throughout the library. There is now a bar-top table in the adult section with outlets and seating available.

The carpeting and extra lighting make the library brighter and cozier, and there are more tables and armchairs for patrons to sit with a book, newspaper or magazine.

The children’s section has been revamped as well. Youth services director Sharon Kalman has been nothing but excited over how welcoming the area looks. A colorful mural of popular fiction characters now greets patrons into the youth section. There is also more seating in the youth section to accommodate the many students that walk to the library from Paramus High School just across the street either on their lunch break or after school.

“We’re feeling great,” Mrs. Kalman said. “It’s a much more comfortable place.”

In the past, the library has organized programming for different Jewish holidays, like Purim and Rosh Hashanah, and hopes to continue to do so in the future in order to help expose all children to different Jewish holidays and customs.

On July 12, the library teamed up with the Jewish Community Center of Paramus for a concert at the Paramus High School auditorium, as part of their Wacky Wednesday children’s concert series.

The library is also planning to include the Jewish Federation’s Shalom Baby program in the children’s section. The program, geared towards children 0 to 3 years of age, introduces them to different aspects of Jewish holidays, customs and morals through storytelling and other interactive activities, and helps Jewish families form connections within the community.

Local Jewish families with young children like Rachel and Ben Shacar and their children love the new library and what it has to offer. They visited last Friday for the first time to play bingo and check out books. Lily, age 6, and Aviv, 8, both joined the library’s summer reading club. “The kids love it,” Mrs. Shacar said. “They’ve been reading more ever since.”

The new space will hopefully encourage more young readers to build a bond with their local library. Mrs. Kalman is looking forward to welcoming all library goers ready to take advantage of all it has to offer. “Everyone who walks in is really thrilled,” Mrs. Kalman said of both staff members and patrons. “Everybody’s happier.”

By Elizabeth Zakaim

 Elizabeth Zakaim is a student at The College of New Jersey and a Jewish Link contributor.

 

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